Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Here's a sermon in motion, an ex situ passion play, an evangelical moment, and a statement of faith.  "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24. Today, we celebrate the empty cross. Easter is Resurrection Day! [1994]

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Dozens of murals make Cincinnati's downtown and the neighborhoods so much more livable. Who paints them? Teen artists like this one. Since 2007, the city has put youth to work and given them something to be proud of. This mural is called "Mr. Tarbel Tips His Hat." [2012]

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Fleur-de-lis: so New Orleans! Color: so New Orleans! Balcony: so New Orleans! Wrought iron: so New Orleans! Gas lamp: so New Orleans! Buskers:  so New Orleans! Washboard: so New Orleans! [2011]

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Goldsboro, Pennsylvania,USA

Goldsboro nestles between the Newberry Township hills and the Susquehanna River. Not far off shore lies an island that hosts a nuclear power station: one that went berserk on this date in 1979 precipitating the evacuation of 144,000 people. The name of the island is shared by the nuclear installation. What is it? [2007]

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Liverpool, England, UK

How far is Liverpool from London?  2 hours and 19 minutes.  How far is Paris from London?  2 hours and 19 minutes.  In time-space, Liverpool and Paris are equidistant from London.  In geographic space, Liverpool is 60 miles closer to London.  How do you explain these equations?  [2011]

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ürgüp, Turkey

 It looks so simple today, but the invention of the potters wheel represented a major step forward in civilization, and that was at least 5,000 years ago.  Don't you wonder how much different his pot is than the one made by his ancestors in the Bronze Age?  [2007]

Monday, March 25, 2013

Victoria, Gozo, Malta

Fruits and vegetables add color to otherwise drab sidewalks, but too much of that color is hiding behind those greenish bins (hardly a hue out of nature's palette). If you are going to show off your produce, do it right. Let it molt. [2009]

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Rusty is a monument to moving on after deindustrialization. His organs are recycled mechanicals: water tank for a bladder, time clock for a watch, and car horns for a nose. He is only five years old, but already 20 feet tall! Behind him is The Factory, his former workplace but now a boutique shopping mall. Name on his birth certificate: Rusty Mechanism. [2010]

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Laie, Hawaii, USA

Boardshorts (preferably color coordinated with the board) are a part of surfing culture. They must offer more coverage than briefs in order to protect the hair on the back of the legs while sitting on the board waiting for the next wave. What would this dude be wearing if he were surfing in California? [2011]

Friday, March 22, 2013

Waiheke Island, New Zealand

. . . sand/shell . . . dark/light . . . lithogenous/biogenous . . . volcanic/organic . . . plural/dual . . . random/regular . . . particulate/arcuate . . . dusk/dawn . . .  [2006]

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Building those high rises isn't easy.  But, when it's done, we love the convenience high density brings to our workaday lives.  Never, though, do we write a thank you letter to men like this.  Picture for a moment the people who built your city.  Who do you see in that picture?   Do you put them on a pedestal – or construction elevator – where they belong?  [2012]

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chincoteague, Virginia, USA

The fishing industry is divided into three sectors: recreational fishing, subsistence fishing, and commercial fishing. Which one is going on here along Virginia's Atlantic coast? [1992]

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Resafa, Syria

Inside his tent, an Arab sheikh presides over a clan gathering in the Syrian Desert.  Not that anyone in the clan lives there.  The desert's function now is to provide a setting for families to reunite and affirm the wisdom of traditional ways.  Nearby Resafa (a city called Sergiopolis under the Byzantines) was abandoned centuries ago.  [1993]

Monday, March 18, 2013

Resafa, Syria

Cauldron after cauldron of stewing lamb, and not a woman in sight.  Unfortunately, the heavens opened up before the meal was served.  The raindrops liquefied the desert floor and everyone went home.  Since no paved roads lead this way, the evacuation was accompanied by a chorus of spinning wheels singing their way out of the mud.  [1993]

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Resafa, Syria

These men aren't nomads.  They are simply celebrating their tent-dweller past, complete with qahwah, or coffee, served in the smallest of cups and flavored with cardamom.  [1993]

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sosua, Dominican Republic

Natural rubber was never a major Dominican export, but two decades after this picture was taken, the industry has just about expired. You can see how labor intensive rubber production was. Trees were scored by hand, and the latex collected in old 'coffee' cans. It's just easier to synthesize rubber from petroleum. [1992]

Friday, March 15, 2013

Encamp, Andorra

Tourism is now the leading industry in Andorra, and it has been for decades. Agriculture has been on the decline. Still, small fields of tobacco hang on. In fact, they mesh with the tourism industry. They are used as a design element to make the valleys more picturesque. [2005]

Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City

St. Peter's Square was brimming with humanity yesterday as white smoke rose from the Sistine chimney. A new pope was elected by the Cardinal Electors. The geography of the choice made news:  the 366th Holy Father is the first from the Western Hemisphere and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. Godspeed, Pope Francis I. [2002]

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Markets days were Tuesdays and Saturdays when the Adelaide's City Market opened in 1869.  In 1902, gas lighting gave way to electrical lighting.  In the 1960s, the market was virtually rebuilt and renamed Central Market.  Today, it is an anchor of the CBD.  [2011]

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dublin, Ireland

The Brazen Head is a foundation of Irish culture. It's proclaimed as the oldest pub in Ireland, founded in 1198. Location makes the assertion believable. It's at the oldest crossing point on the River Liffey, but it pre-dates even the first bridge there. [2004]

Monday, March 11, 2013

Madrid, Spain

In 1975, the Whopper arrived in Europe as Burger King secured a toe-hold on the continent in Madrid. Unlike France, which eventually got angry with the Whopper and expelled it, Spain decided it could sell an angry Whopper. [2009]

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New York, New York, USA

Buy a big apple in the Big Apple. A pome like this, especially if it is organically grown, will fetch a high price if can find a lift into Manhattan, where market tables and scales await. Demand for fresh produce in the city stimulates production in the hinterland, and consumers have demonstrated their preference for anything that is locally grown. [2012]

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Dozens of Moorish Revival theaters and auditoriums opened across the United States in the 1920s. None of them were praying places for Muslims. In Atlanta, the Fox Theatre has survived only because Atlanta Landmarks organized a preservation drive which saved it from demolition. Next door is the AT&T Midtown Center. [2013]

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chicago, Illinois, USA

From the top of the Willis Tower, you can see all of the tallest buildings in Chicago, many of which are among the tallest buildings in the United States and the world. Which one stands tallest among its peers in this photograph? (A) Trump International Tower, (B) Aon Center, (C) John Hancock Center. [2006]

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Delhi, India

Is there a better place to find a steady supply of customers than outside where everybody can see the quality of your work? Ironing requires rudimentary skills, minimal capital investment, and a little entrepreneurship. Processes of specialization that create urban economies begin in neighborhoods like this. [2011]

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ramsey, Isle of Man

If the Manx are really so super, they should have x-ray vision just like Superman. We need them in the world's airports. Given that they're faster than a speeding bullet (yes, acceleration is worshiped on the Isle of Man), they would be able to work at LAX or IAD and go home every night for dinner.  Have you read Supermanx Versus the Terrorists? [2011]

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quneitra, Syria

Today, U.N. Peacekeepers are stationed in 15 locations around the world, most of them in the Middle East and Africa. With their blue berets, they have been patrolling the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel on the Jaulan Plateau/Golan Heights since 1974. In the 1990s, the Poles were a prominent part of UNDOF (U.N. Defense Observer Force). [1996]

Monday, March 4, 2013

Paris, France

Unsettling, isn't it? Water is the symbol of life and Godliness. Water spouting from a serpent's mouth becomes venom, the symbol of death and devilish evil. [2005]

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Athens, Greece

Looks like fun, doesn't it? And, who can say they've had a view of the Parthenon from that vantage point? The years leading up to the 2004 Olympics meant that Greece had to catch up with a lot of deferred maintenance. [2001]

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Taipei, Taiwan

Just a guess:
Father and son?
Out for some fun?
Deterred by the rain?
Or how they keep sane?
Umbrella for two?
How communal: it's true!
Shared time! Shared Space!
Inspirational view
Of the whole human race!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

The Nebraska capitol houses the core components of the state's governing apparatus. Surmounting the tower is a gold dome; surmounting the dome is a statue called The Sower. If it were built from black granite, it might remind you of Lincoln's stovepipe hat. Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867. [2008]