The 12,400km by 200m Nature Preserve

The European Green Belt initiative is a grassroots movement for nature conservation and sustainable development along the corridor of the former Iron Curtain. The term refers to both an environmental initiative as well as the area it concerns. The initiative is carried out under the patronage of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Mikhail Gorbachev. It is the aim of the initiative to create the backbone of an ecological network that runs from the Barents Sea in the Arctic to the Black and Adriatic Seas.

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The European Green Belt as an area follows the route of the former Iron Curtain and connects national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves and transboundary protected areas as well as non-protected valuable habitats along or across the former borders. So far 6,800km of the intended 12,400km Green Belt have been established.

This guide is published by the Union for Environmentand Nature Protection of Germany and  explains if graphic detail both how the original sealed border operated and how it has been transformed into a unique nature preserve:


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SF Chronicle’s Marijuana Section

Today’s Sunday paper has a 32 page magazine dedicated to marijuana. Printed on polished newsprint, the magazine covers the heath effects, the consumption, sale, and cultivation of the ‘Yerba Buena.’It’s ads:

are quite expensive-looking.
In a time of shrinking newspaper sales and sizes it’s good to see the paper getting a nice bonus.
It’s bitterly ironic to see in that paper since is owned by the Hearst corporation and it was because of William Randolph Hearst that the US has suffered through 70 years of a stupid prohibition that exactly like the one on alcohol, succeeded only in the creation of organized crime syndicates.
And Hearst didn’t do it because it was a drug. He did it to protect his lumber and paper businesses because he knew that better quality paper could be made from hemp for less cost.
His greed ruined the lives of too many Americans to count and has been used for the last 50 years to militarize the police and to build an industry of for-profit prisons.

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ABC Scrap Books

A few years ago I went to New York City for my daughter Aurora’s graduation from NYU and during my stay in there I created this alphabet of collected images.  (the ‘C’ is a link of chain, not dog feces, honest)


And when I took a volunteer vacation in Mexico a few years ago, I created this one in the Ciudad Mexico:


When I went to the UK for the 60s exhibit  You Say You Want a Revolution at the Victoria & Albert Museum I created 2 collections, one in London:


And one on the Brighton Pier:


And recently it occurred to me that while I live in one of the most colorful and popular tourist destinations in San Francisco, the Haight Ashbury, I had never created one for it. It took me about an hour to gather them today:


Looking back at the albums from previous years brought a flood of very enjoyable memories.

I’m headed back to NYC to see Aurora get her well-earned Masters degree and am planning to create another.

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Stephen Hawking, science’s brightest star, dies aged 76 

I am very proud of the letter I got back from Dr Hawking when I sent him a copy of my black velvet portrait of him:

He once said: “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”

For fellow scientists and loved ones, it was Hawking’s intuition and wicked sense of humour that marked him out as much as the fierce intellect that, coupled with his illness, came to symbolise the unbounded possibilities of the human mind.

“Stephen was far from being the archetypal unworldy or nerdish scientist. His personality remained amazingly unwarped by his frustrations,” said Lord Rees, the astronomer royal, who praised Hawking’s half century of work as an “inspiring crescendo of achievement.” He added: “Few, if any, of Einstein’s successors have done more to deepen our insights into gravity, space and time.”

The Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield lamented on Twitter that “Genius is so fine and rare”, while the US rock band Foo Fighters was more succinct, calling Hawking a “fucking legend.”

Stephen’s deal with the Simpsons was that could use his image for free but he got to record his lines. He once called the show the “best thing on American television.”

Excellent obituary: Stephen Hawking, science’s brightest star, dies aged 76 | Science | The Guardian

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Haight & Clayton Sidewalk Art

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Falcon Heavy Test Flight: A Momentous Event

The world’s newest, most powerful rocket in decades has reached space. It took a few weather delays Tuesday, but the private space company SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center.

Watch the video of the launch at the top of this page. (If you’d like to skip ahead to the very moment the rocket lifts off, you can find it about 29:50 into the video.)

Not long after the massive craft blasted off NASA’s historic Launch Pad 39A, arcing a fiery path through the sky, its side boosters fell away. As the main rocket continued its journey into space, two of the boosters returned to Earth, landing successfully back on their designated pads.

“SpaceX lands its rockets so it can reuse them again,” NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce reports. “That’s how it’s trying to make space flight cheaper.”

Falcon Heavy is yet the latest example of that quest to make it much cheaper to get things into orbit. According to the company, it will cost just $90 million per launch, a fraction of the price of similar heavy-lift rockets.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder, has said the ultimate goal is to make humans an interplanetary species, by creating a colony on Mars.

Falcon Heavy is a small step on that journey, but it is still a very large machine. Weighing in at over 1,500 tons, it can carry more stuff into space than any vehicle since the Saturn V rockets of the Apollo Era.

Onboard this flight is a car made by one of Musk’s other companies, Tesla. The cherry red roadster — complete with an unpaid intern wearing a spacesuit, naturally — is heading into an elliptical Earth-Mars orbit.

At a news conference Monday, Musk said three cameras mounted to the car should provide “epic views.”

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Don’t Look Down! 5

More vertically exciting images, .gifs, and this video:

Some of these made my heart pound a bit:

I generally don’t include rock climbers or parachutists because they usually have safety equipment on and are safe. It’s the free climbers and the crazy urban climbers that impress me.

Most of these were collected from Acid Cow, a very entertaining blog.

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Do you think he knows they’re all socialists?

Does he know they're all socialists?

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The Couple Who Designed The American Dream: Dorothy And Otis Shepherd – Flashbak

This is an amazing post over on Flashbak. I could not improve on it so I’m just suggesting you go and check it out there.

Their impact on American design was phenomenal!

(I have reversed the order of the wording in the title because I think it’s more intriguing phrased with their names at the end)


Source: Flashbak

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Jewish Britain on Film

Some of My Best Friends 1969 Jews (and Gentiles) muse on what it means to be Jewish in 1960s Britain

If you’re in the UK or have a VPN like Hola click on images to watch the films 

British Paramount News No. 251 1933 We Protest: 80,000 descend on Hyde Park to demonstrate against Hitler’s antisemitism

This collection uncovers insights, injustices and hidden histories across a century of Jewish life on British screens. It brings together documentary and first-person accounts of Jewish life in the UK, alongside historical dramas and artists’ work exploring the 20th century Jewish experience.

Jew Süss 1935 Conrad Veidt plays a Jew seeking power in the British version of Lion Feuchtwanger’s novel, later adapted by the Nazis.

The earliest surviving depictions of Jewish characters in British cinema offer a troubling insight into antisemitic representation, yet prejudice was later tackled head-on, with newsreels documenting the anti-fascist movement of the 1930s.

Marriage of Miss Rose Carmel and Mr. Solly Gerschcowit, 1925 Follow the happy couple from the family shop on Brick Lane to a garden party serenaded by the San Diego Dance Band

Lynne’s Wedding 1980 Eating, dancing in the front room, playing football in the garden, walking around Whitby, a birthday party, a wedding – just being common people, only with a Jewish twist.

Drop in on joyous family weddings and community gatherings, and see the ways in which UK Jewry supported Jews young and old, and those fleeing persecution, in a selection of fascinating films from the 1900s to the 1980s.

The Antique Vase 1913 A penniless actor sells his beloved antique vase to a Jewish dealer who is pained to part with his money

Motherland 1927 In the surviving opening scenes of this WWI-set feature, young soldiers head to the front and face life in the trenches

As a record of the 20th century the collection obviously tackles the trauma of conflict and war, but it also shines a spotlight on resilience and celebrating the strength of community. Here you can also drop in on joyous weddings from the 1920s to the 1980s, Marriage of Miss Rose Carmel and Mr. Solly Gerschcowit (1925), Wedding of Thelma and Danny, 11th August 1946 (North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University), Lynne’s Wedding (1980) (Yorkshire Film Archive) as well as colourful snapshots of everyday family life at work, rest and play.

The Battle of Cable Street 1936  The notorious Battle of Cable St kicks off this film from 1936 which also shows young Basque refugees and a Communist Summer Camp in rural Kent

Through early comedy shorts, rare newsreel footage and local television news reports, documentaries, charity appeals contemporary short films, experimental work produced by the BFI and British-made historical epic, the collection paints a portrait of Jewish life across the UK and Northern Ireland, with films from Regional Archive partners; Screen Archive South East, East Anglian Film Archive, North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, Yorkshire Film Archive and Northern Ireland Screen as well as the BFI’s National Archive collections. From Robert Vas’s record of the ‘lost’ streets of London’s traditionally Jewish East End in his classic documentary, The Vanishing Street (1962) including the film’s raw material, to an insider’s view of local Jewish communities living in Manchester, Autumn in Delamere (1969) (North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University), Leeds, Sharonah Dance and Modern Food Store (1975) (Yorkshire Film Archive) and Belfast’s Jewish Community in Ulster (1966) (Northern Ireland Screen) identity is explored within a wider British cultural context.

The Challenge 1967 Ben-Gurion visits a youth centre in Leeds in this promotional film for the Youth & Hechalutz Department of the Jewish Agency in London

Impressions of Disraeli 1931 Celebrity endorsement: Stanley Baldwin introduces George Arliss playing the legendary PM


Source: Jewish Britain on Film

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