Stan Lee to get superhero send-off at Hollywood memorial
By ANDREW DALTON
AP Entertainment Writer
Wednesday, January 30
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Among comics lovers, Stan Lee was as much a superhero as the characters he helped create.
Those fans, along with Lee’s friends and colleagues, will get to pay their final respects at a Los Angeles memorial Wednesday night for the Marvel Comics mastermind who helped bring the world Spider-Man, Black Panther and The Incredible Hulk.
A public remembrance and celebration of Lee will be held around Lee’s hand and footprints outside the TCL Chinese Theatre, followed by a private gathering inside the theatre, according to Lee’s company, POW! Entertainment, which organized the memorial.
Filmmaker and Lee super-fan Kevin Smith is among the hosts of the event whose title opens with Lee’s catchphrase: “Excelsior! A Celebration of the Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible & Uncanny Life of Stan Lee .”
The evening will include speakers, musical performances, an art exhibit, and costumes and props from Lee’s creations and Marvel-movie cameos.
Smith will moderate a discussion of Lee’s life and work that’s set to include actors Mark Hamill and Vincent D’Onofrio and Wu Tang Clan member RZA.
Smith, in a statement, called Lee “the literary titan of comic books” and “our modern-day Mark Twain.”
Lee’s only child, daughter J.C. Lee, also plans to attend.
Lee died at a Los Angeles hospital in November at age 95. He was laid to rest in a small private funeral the same week.
Lee’s wife and partner in nearly everything, Joan Lee, died in July of 2017, leaving a void that made her husband, by then in mental and physical decline, vulnerable to hangers-on.
Lawsuits, court fights and an elder abuse investigation emerged around Lee, but all appeared to be resolved in the months before his death.
He was the face of Marvel until the end of his life and was most widely recognized for his constant cameos in dozens of Marvel movies spanning his last decades.
His co-creations with comic artists also included The Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man and most of the other heroes in the Marvel comic and cinematic universes.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton at https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .
Standup Comedian Demetri Martin Brings the Laughs to the Southern March 7
With a truly unique comedic voice, standup comedian, artist, writer, and director Demetri Martin has been entertaining audiences worldwide with the hysterical wonders of his smart, quick-witted imagination.
CAPA presents Demetri Martin at the Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.) on Thursday, March 7, at 8 pm. Tickets are $30.50 and $40.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com, or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.
Doing standup in NYC while working as a staff writer for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” he became a regular on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He has since released three standup comedy albums and four hour-long standup comedy specials, starred in his own television series for Comedy Central, won the Perrier Award at the International Fringe Festival and the Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, published three books, and had his fiction published in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine. He his first feature film, Dean (2016), which he wrote and directed, won the Founder’s Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Martin began doing standup comedy in New York City, where he worked as a staff writer for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and then became a regular performer on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
He won the Perrier Award at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh for his one-man show, “If I.” At the Melbourne International Comedy festival, his show “Dr. Earnest Parrot Presents Demetri Martin” won Australia’s Barry Award. Martin has released three standup comedy albums and four hour-long standup comedy specials, including his latest for Netflix, “The Overthinker.”
He created and starred in his own television series for Comedy Central called “Important Things with Demetri Martin.” His books, This Is a Book and Point Your Face at This, are New York Times Bestsellers. His latest book, If It’s Not Funny It’s Art, features a collection of his original drawings. Martin’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine. He recently wrote and directed his first feature film, Dean, which won the Founder’s Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival for best narrative American feature film.
CAPA presents DEMETRI MARTIN
Thursday, March 7, 8 pm
Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.)
With a truly unique comedic voice, standup comedian, artist, writer, and director Demetri Martin has been entertaining audiences worldwide with the hysterical wonders of his smart, quick-witted imagination. Tickets are $30.50 and $40.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com, or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. www.capa.com
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CAPA also appreciates the generous support of the Barbara B. Coons and Robert Bartels Funds of The Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Owner/operator of downtown Columbus’ magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex, Lincoln Theatre, Drexel Theatre, Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (New Albany, OH), and the Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. For more information, visit www.capa.com.
The Animal One Thousand Miles Long New Book By Leath Tonino Celebrates the Landscape of Vermont
E – The Environmental Magazine January 27, 2019
The phrase “an animal a thousand miles miles long,” attributed to Aristotle, refers to a sprawling body that cannot be seen in its entirety from a single angle, a thing too vast and complicated to be knowable as a whole.
For Leath Tonino, the animal a thousand miles long is the landscape of his native Vermont. Tonino grew up along the shores of Lake Champlain, situated between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks. His career as a nature and travel writer has taken him across the country, but he always turns his eye back on his home state. “All along,” he writes, “I’ve been exploring various parts of the animal, trying to make a prose map of its body―not to understand it in a conclusive or definitive way but rather to celebrate it, to hint at its possibilities.”
This fragmented yet deep search is the overarching theme of the twenty essays in The Animal One Thousand Miles Long: Seven Lengths of Vermont and Other Adventures. Tonino posits that geography, natural history, human experience, and local traditions, seasons, and especially atypical outings―on skis, bicycles, sleds, and boogie boards―can open us to a place and, simultaneously, open a place to us. He looks closely at what he calls “huge-small” Vermont, but his underlying mission is to demonstrate our collective need to better understand the meaning of place, especially the ones we call home and think we know best. From Laredo to Jackson Hole, San Francisco to Burlington, his sensibility is applicable to us all.
In his signature piece, “Seven Lengths of Vermont,” he traverses the length of the state in seven different ways―a twenty-day hike, 500 miles on bicycle, a thirty-six-ride hitchhiking tour, 260 miles in a canoe, ten days swimming Lake Champlain, a three-week ski trek, and a two-hour “vast and fast” flyover. He plots each route with blue ink on maps strung across his office. “Each inky thread was an animal a thousand miles long,” he writes. “Vermont appeared before me as a menagerie.”
What Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods did for the Appalachian Trail and Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence did for the South of France, Tonino’s affinity for the land he calls home gives a new perspective on the Green Mountain State. His infectious love of the outdoors, the ground of everyday life, should inspire us to explore the places just outside our own front door.
Venezuela opposition urges walkouts to pressure Maduro
By SCOTT SMITH and CHRISTINE ARMARIO
Wednesday, January 30
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Opposition leader Juan Guaido is looking to ratchet up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro with walkouts across Venezuela on Wednesday, just a day after the embattled socialist administration barred Guaido from leaving the country while he is investigated for anti-government activities.
The man challenging Maduro’s claim to the presidency is urging Venezuelans to step outside their homes and workplaces for two hours beginning at noon in the first mass mobilization since he declared himself the nation’s rightful leader a week ago during another round of big protests.
“Venezuela is set on change,” Guaido said.
The surge in political maneuvering has seen two dozen nations, including the United States and several big Latin American countries, back Guaido, and the Trump administration has imposed sanctions that could starve the already distressed nation of billions in oil revenue.
But Maduro is holding firm in refusing to step down. He huddled with military troops early Wednesday and has overseen military exercises in recent days while seeking to consolidate support from the armed forces.
He accused Washington of staging a coup and pressed his case directly to the American people in a short video shot in the presidential palace. President Donald Trump and “this group of extremists” have their eyes on Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, said Maduro, warning that the U.S. is about to repeat a bloody chapter in its history.
“We won’t allow a Vietnam in Latin America,” Maduro said. “If the aim of the United States is to invade, they’ll have a Vietnam worse than can be imagined.”
In an interview with Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday, Maduro said he was “willing to sit down for talks with the opposition for the sake of Venezuela’s peace and its future.” Maduro said the talks could be held with mediation of other countries. Russia is one of the staunchest supporters of Maduro and has offered to mediate.
Maduro also accused the U.S. president of ordering a hit on him from Colombia. He said he was aware of Trump’s “orders” for the Colombian government and the local mafia to kill him.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court barred Guaido from leaving the country after chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced that he was opening a criminal investigation of Maduro’s foe, who heads the opposition-controlled congress. Saab is a key Maduro ally and the high court is stacked with Maduro loyalists.
The court move came after U.S. national security adviser John Bolton warned that the Maduro government would face “serious consequences” if Guaido is harmed.
Guaido has thus far managed to avoid arrest and the Supreme Court did not strip him of his legislative immunity, though the new investigation could signal that Maduro’s administration is moving to take a more punitive approach.
Speaking Tuesday outside the National Assembly, Guaido said he was aware of personal risks.
“I don’t underestimate the threat of persecution at the moment, but here we are,” he said.
The U.S. has emerged as Guaido’s most powerful ally, announcing on Tuesday that it was giving him control of Venezuela’s U.S. bank accounts.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified that Guaido has the authority to take control of any Venezuelan government accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or any other U.S.-insured banks. He said the certification would “help Venezuela’s legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.”
On Monday, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, that could potentially deprive the Maduro government of $11 billion in export revenues over the next year.
Venezuela’s economy is already ravaged by hyperinflation and widespread food and medical shortages that have driven millions of people to leave the country.
Maduro called the sanctions “criminal” and vowed to challenge the U.S. in court. “With these measures, they intend to rob us,” he said.
Violent street demonstrations erupted last week after Guaido declared during a huge opposition rally in Caracas that he had assumed presidential powers under the constitution and planned to hold fresh elections to end Maduro’s “dictatorship.”
Under Venezuela’s constitution, the head of the National Assembly is empowered to take on the duties of the chief executive under a range of circumstances in which the presidency is vacated. The opposition argues Maduro’s re-election last May was a sham.
The previously little-known Guaido has re-invigorated the opposition movement by pushing for three immediate goals: to end Maduro’s “usurpation” of power, establish a transitional government and hold a new presidential election.
In a tweet Wednesday, Trump repeated a travel advisory from the State Department, telling U.S. citizens not go to Venezuela. Trump also said there’s a “Massive protest expected today.”
The U.N. human rights office says security forces in Venezuela detained nearly 700 people in just one day of anti-government protests last week — the highest such tally in a single day in the country in at least 20 years. It says more than 40 people are believed to have been killed.
Maduro’s allies blame the opposition for the violence and deny the high death toll as well as reports that minors were among those arrested.
Socialist party leaders have been organizing counter-protests by thousands of Maduro supporters in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, a rebel military officer who Maduro has accused of plotting his overthrow has been arrested after sneaking back into Venezuela amid the country’s upheaval.
Sorbay Pailla said she last heard from her husband, retired National Guard Col. Oswaldo Garcia Palomo, on Sunday after he entered the country clandestinely from Colombia. She said contacts within the DGCIM military intelligence unit in Venezuela told her that he was arrested in the western state of Barinas.
The Associated Press was unable to confirm the arrest and the government has yet to comment. But Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States, condemned late Tuesday what he called the “kidnapping” of Palomo.
Armario reported from Bogota, Colombia.
Dam collapse at Brazilian mine exposes grave safety problems
January 29, 2019
Julian D. Olden, Professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington
Jean Vitule, Ecology Professor, Universidade Federal do Paraná (Brazil)
Paulo dos Santos Pompeu, Associate Professor, University of Lavras, Brazil
Thiago B. A. Couto, Doctoral candidate, School of Aquatic and Fishery Science, University of Washington
Thiago Vinicius Trento Occhi, Freshwater Ecologist, Universidade Federal do Paraná (Brazil)
Disclosure statement: The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Partners: University of Washington provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
Brazilian rescue workers continued searching for more than 300 people missing after a dam burst at an iron ore mine over the weekend.
The dam, which ruptured on Jan. 25 close to the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, Minas Gerais state, released a muddy sludge of watery mine waste that engulfed buildings, vehicles and roads. At least 65 people are confirmed dead, and the official toll will rise as the missing are declared dead.
The catastrophe has exposed the dangers of Brazil’s aging dam system. A recent government report found nearly 1,800 dams in Brazil at high or moderate risk of failure. The figure is all the more stunning because the report’s authors evaluated just one-fifth of Brazil’s nearly 24,000 registered dams.
Brazil’s unsafe dams
Dams are an environmentally and economically risky business, as our global research on hydropower and many other studies have shown.
Beyond the loss of human life, the economic damages of a dam breach can soar into the billions. An entire region’s natural and cultural heritage may be decimated by flooding, and the freshwater ecosystems that humans and fish alike rely on compromised.
Yet dozens of countries worldwide, including the United States and Canada, use dams to store water, generate electricity and trap mine waste, or “tailings.” And there’s no easy or cheap way to dismantle or fix aging dams.
The Brumadinho dam collapse is the second dam accident in Brazil involving one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, Vale S.A., in recent years.
In November 2015, two of Vale S.A.‘s tailings dams – that is, dams used to contain the watery runoff of nearby mines – also collapsed in Minas Gerais state, where some mountains are made almost entirely of iron ore.
That disaster killed 19 people and spewed over 10 billion gallons of water and mine sediment downstream, contaminating 441 miles of Brazil’s Rio Doce river before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. It is considered the country’s worst environmental tragedy ever.
Repairing broken dams in Brazil can cost between US$40,000 and $10 million per dam, according to Brazil’s national water authority. That is a financial hurdle for a country that has been in deep recession since 2015.
But the social, economic and environmental costs of letting old dams fail may be higher.
Reducing the risk of dam failure
The environmental damage is particularly acute when tailings dams collapse, since the large amounts of mining waste they release is highly toxic.
Of the roughly 3,500 tailings dams worldwide, over 300 collapse each year. Two to five of those are “major” failures like Brazil’s.
Prompted by this impending danger, the United Nations Environmental Program recently issued recommendations for enhancing tailings dam safety around the world.
Mining companies should strive for zero-failure, it said, warning that “safety attributes should be evaluated separately from economic considerations, and cost should not be the determining factor.”
The report also suggests the creation of a global database of mine sites and tailings storage facilities to better track, and ultimately predict, dam failures.
When old dams have become too costly to maintain or repair, removal is generally considered the best course. Dismantling old dams, as the United States and Europe are increasingly doing, also restores freshwater ecosystems that have been impacted by decades of damming.
Brazil is considering decommissioning at least one dam, in the country’s north, due to biodiversity concerns and because it no longer efficiently produces hydroelectricity.
Since the country has federal guidelines regulating the treatment of old dams, the decision about whether to repair, dismantle or continue operating dams is largely left to state officials. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has promised to further deregulate the mining industry.
That setup, we fear, leaves the country ill-equipped to deal with its impending dam crisis.
To increase the safety of its mines, Brazil and other countries could look beyond dams for storing iron ore waste.
New technology has created some promising alternative solutions.
These include approaches that create a paste of thickened mine tailings, which may then be stored either above ground or in impermeable plastic sheathes below the surface. This method both makes it less likely that the contamination seeps into the ground. It also reduces water use. However, it is expensive.
Constructed and engineered wetlands can also act as treatment systems – a kind of faux natural filter.
Wetlands are affordable to build and operate and require relatively little maintenance. Technology can enhance their natural capacity to remove contamination from wastewater.
However, mines must have sufficient available land to support wetlands, and the these systems – like all wetlands – don’t work as efficiently during cold winter months.
Every mine is uniquely situated in terms of its geography, physical setting, environmental context and human population. None of these waste-storage systems alone will make tailings dams obsolete.
But Brazil’s Brumadinho dam collapse is the world’s latest reminder of the risk posed by old and unsafe dams. With national safety guidelines informed by science and stricter enforcement, countries can reduce the chance of a disaster like this happening again.
Eco-Friendly Travel in Australia Explore the Most Amazing Places on Foot
As much as it is hard to maintain an eco-friendly behavior while traveling it has become an unavoidable necessity nowadays. In Australia, environmentally-friendly and culturally responsible tourism is making significant positive contributions to the cultural, economic and environmental well-being of the country.
Eco-tourism can be defined by a variety of travel practices. As an eco-tourist you accept the sustainable tourism – you decide to travel in a way that no matter what you do or where you are you will do nothing to contribute to degradation or harm the environment. A definition adopted by Ecotourism Australia (EA) explains the true meaning of maintaining an eco-friendly behavior while traveling.
“Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.”
With all aforementioned, we come to a conclusion that the best way to be eco-friendly even when traveling is to explore the destination on foot. As an eco-tourist in Australia, you can opt for guided walking holidays where you will spend most of your sightseeing being active and well, walking or you can opt for a self-guided exploration that takes a lot of planning in advance. Either way, you will reduce the carbon footprint of your trip and enjoy an eco-friendly vacation!
One of the best hiking trails in Australia where you can practice being an eco-tourist is certainly the Larapinta Trail. Located in the Northern Territory, the 223 kilometers long trail is nestled in the wild and raw, bush and rugged landscape of the Alice Springs region. This magical trail is heaven for eco-friendly tourists, trekkers, and trampers from all over the world.
The Larapinta Trail is relatively difficult, and it is perfect for experienced adventurers. However, this trail will certainly attract many individuals with different levels of experience, adventure-seekers who are brave enough to explore the wondrous views of mountain ranges, dry creek beds, deep gorges, and much more.
Explore magical wonders of Bruny Island, an untouched place located on the Southern-east coast of Tasmania. Reconnect with nature on your eco-friendly journey to the mesmerizing island that contains a mix of towering dolerite cliffs, rich heathlands, long sandy beaches and eucalyptus forests. This diverse landscape is a true paradise for eco-tourists who want to reduce their travel carbon footprint! Discover the natural delights of the island’s diverse landscapes and wildlife while being a part of ecologically sustainable tourism during Bruny island hikes.
The Summit Trail is located on the Mount Augustus where you will have the opportunity to climb “the world’s largest rock”. It is 12 kilometers long and it takes about seven hours to complete. During your walk you will be able to see the fascinating explosion of colors when the Sun is low on the horizon; from indigo to bright orange, pink, red and the green – a perfect gradient transition of colors that will take your breath away. After experiencing such marvelous panoramic views created by nature you will certainly think about your actions and the importance of being eco-friendly whenever and wherever you are. It is not an easy trail but it will worth every step of the way!
One of the best, scenic walking experiences in Australia is certainly the longest coastal walking trail known as the Cape to Cape Trail. This incredible trail is nestled between the Cape Naturaliste in the north and Cape Leeuwin in the south and is running alongside with the amazing, vivid blue waters of the Indian Ocean. It represents a showcase of Australia’s unique rock formations, limestone caves, majestic cliffs, and lush Karri forest. The stunning beauty of nature will inspire you to always choose environmentally-friendly and culturally responsible tourism in order to keep the planet clean and healthy for the future generations!
The Camel Trail: This trail is 8 kilometers long and it is located between Mount Herbert and Python Pool. If you walk along this trail early in the morning you will boost your energy simply by soaking in the view of the beautiful landscape that changes color while the sun rises. The beauty of this trail will certainly help you maintain an eco-friendly behavior while taking part in the hike. The unique formation of the Python Pool makes it a location that must be on the top of your to-see list. It is edged by red rocks plus it is suitable for swimming so you can refresh during your hike. The Camel Trail got its name due to the fact that one part of it used to be a camel road.
Pack light and eco-friendly and start your adventure by taking part in one of these amazing hiking trails in Australia. Learn about the rich history of these special places, while discovering the true essence of nature around you. Focus on eco-travel – experiencing natural areas and do what is in your power to help preserve nature and wildlife while making sure you are reducing the carbon footprint of your trip.