Island Gourmet Safaris Wed, 02 Jun 2021 07:17:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Island Gourmet Safaris 32 32 Government initiatives Wed, 02 Jun 2021 06:10:36 +0000

Countering the Covid19

LG Manoj Sinha receives first vaccine against COVID-19

The government of Jammu and Kashmir said 62% of people aged 45 had been vaccinated, compared to a national average of 32%. For this age group, four districts have so far achieved 90 percent coverage. The government has stated that it is further expected that the remaining population in the 45 and over age category will be covered in a few days. Based on the likely flow of vaccines in the coming months, the government announced that the vaccination program for the 18-45 age group with an estimated population of 60 lakh would be systematically and gradually stepped up to give priority is given to covering high-risk people. and vulnerable groups.

In the 18-45 age group, the most at risk and vulnerable groups have already been identified and are being inoculated gradually.

The rescue package

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha chairs board meeting

Last week, the government of Jammu and Kashmir said aid had been extended to around 40 lakh beneficiaries under various social assistance schemes. As part of the interest subsidy, about 3.50 lakh borrowers received payments of 5% interest subsidy worth Rs 200 crore. Regarding the benefits given to construction workers, the government has stated that the first installment of over Rs 34.50 crore had been paid to 3,49,303 active construction workers at the rate of Rs 1,000 per beneficiary. In addition, Rs 5.6 crore was provided for around 28,000 Shikarawalas / Ponywalas / Dandiwalas / Palkiwalas /Tour guides at Rs 1000 per month per beneficiary for two months of relief – 14,627 from Kashmir and 13,153 from Jammu Division.

As part of the Covid19 mitigation measures, Rs 55 crore has been provided to all District Development Commissioners at the rate of Rs 2.25 crore each and Rs 5 crore to each Divisional Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir. The government also said that Rs 2000 were each paid to 9.5 lakh farmers under PM-KISAN Yojna involving a total amount of Rs 190 crore. The rural development department provided employment to 26,673 households covering 35,484 people, involving Rs 8.21 crore under MGNREGA in April and May 2021. About 7.10 lakh retirees received their pension amounting to Rs 71 crore in title of the ISSS pension for the month of April. Under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, the amount amounts to Rs. 25.68 crore for the months of March and April were paid in favor of retirees of 1.28 lakh (via DBT).

Inaugurate agriculture

Kashmiri Muslim villagers thrash paddy after a harvest in Mirgund Central Kashmir on Wednesday October 3rd 2018

The Indian government has sanctioned the establishment of three joint incubation facility centers worth Rs 7.81 crore in Anantnag, Baramulla and Jammu. The first incubation facility center will be established in Anantnag with an estimated cost of Rs 2.70 crore, which will focus on processing fish and fishery products. The Center will aim for a multiple increase in fish production, processing, packaging and export to different regions of the country as well as abroad.

The second center will be established in Narwal, Jammu, with an estimated cost of Rs 2.68 crore for processing dairy products. The government is paying special attention to increasing milk production and Jammu and Kashmir is likely to turn into surplus milk territory.

The third facility will be established in Baramulla for the processing of apples and other fruits and vegetables. This will give a new dimension to the processing and packaging of fruits and vegetables at international level and consequently better marketing and income for producers. The horticulture department is already implementing an ambitious program of high density planting and the establishment of large-scale CA stores. Another proposal to establish an incubation center in Ramban is expected to be considered soon by the government of the center. This proposed center will focus on olive, lavender and other important products like beans from the ancient Doda region.

Oxygenating cashmere

Business tycoon Devinder Singh Rana meets Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in Jammu on May 26, 2021, to convey Maruti’s decision to establish two oxygen factories in Jammu and Kashmir as part of CSR

The Kashmir Mechanical Engineering Department has increased oxygen demand by adding 21,000 liters per minute (LPM) of oxygen in addition to increasing the capacity of SKIMS Soura and JVC Hospital by 3,250 LPM during the current wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. At present, the oxygen production capacity stands at 36,000 LPM, which means that the department has tripled the oxygen supply compared to the production of the first phase. In addition, the Industries department has relaunched another filling plant to its line which now has five plants and now supplies nearly 3,000 oxygen cylinders in the last few days.

Regarding the preparation for containment of the prophesied third wave of the covid virus, the government said that in the coming days more oxygen plants will be set up in different hospitals to increase the oxygen production capacity to 45,000 LPM. The total potential of oxygen plants installed at Government Medical College and its associated hospitals was 6000 LPM earlier, which is now about over 18,000 LPM in addition to 1000 to 2000 LPM oxygen plants have been installed in district hospitals so that covid patients suffer from lack of oxygen and reduce the movement of patients to hospitals in Srinagar. In addition, oxygen plants with a capacity of 1000 LPM each were installed at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar last week. The overall oxygen capacity built by the Mechanical Engineering Department of the SMHS Hospital has been increased to 5600 LPM. At Chest Disease Hospital, a 1,500 LPM plant has been installed over the past two days in addition to the 1,000 LPM oxygen plant at JLNM Hospital.

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This Week in West Virginia History | Putnam News Wed, 02 Jun 2021 04:00:00 +0000

CHARLESTON – The following events occurred on these dates in West Virginia history. For more information, visit e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at

May 30, 1940: Opening of the Smoke Hole Caverns in Grant County. The cave is beautifully decorated with stalactites suspended in rows along the ceiling; the main hall is called the “Hall of a Million Stalactites”.

May 31, 1841: Roman Catholic Bishop John Joseph Kain was born near Martinsburg. As Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling, he worked to meet the needs of newly arrived immigrants who came to work in the mines and factories of West Virginia.

June 1, 1880: The hand to hand fight for the world championship takes place in Colliers, Brooke County, between defending champion Joe Goss and challenger Paddy Ryan. Boxing was illegal in all states, and matches were often held in railway villages to avoid the big city police.

June 1, 1935: Musician Hazel Dickens was born in Mercer County, the eighth of 11 children. She was a pioneer of bluegrass and old-time music, known for preserving the traditional vocal styles of West Virginia.

June 1, 1858: The Artists’ Excursion leaves Baltimore for Wheeling. An executive from Baltimore & Ohio planned the train trip to promote tourism. About 50 passengers were on board, including artist and writer David Hunter Strother, who described the experience in an article for Harpers magazine.

June 2, 1951: Cornelius Charlton dies from combat injuries during the Korean War. Charlton, originally from County Raleigh, received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

June 3, 1856: Harriet B. Jones was born in Pennsylvania. After attending Wheeling Female College and graduating from Women’s Medical College in Baltimore, she opened a private practice in Wheeling, becoming the first woman licensed to practice medicine in West Virginia.

June 3, 1861: The first land battle of the Civil War takes place in Philippi. About 3,000 Federal troops drove about 800 Confederates from the city.

June 3, 1861: A company of Confederate soldiers known as the Logan Wildcats is formed at the Logan courthouse. The company, made up of about 85 men, participated for the first time in the Battle of Scary Creek.

June 3, 1936: The first strawberry festival takes place in Buckhannon. More than 6,000 spectators attended the festivities, which also included a parade of 30 princesses on Main Street.

June 4, 1975: Clark Kessinger dies in St. Albans, Kanawha County. Kessinger was one of the most prolific and influential fiddlers of the 20th century and one of West Virginia’s most important traditional musicians.

June 5, 1859: A severe frost kills crops in the fields of Preston County. The fields were replanted with hardy buckwheat, which was successful and became a staple crop, celebrated at the annual Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood.

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301; 304-346-8500; or visit e-WV at

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A whistle in the Gard Wed, 02 Jun 2021 00:20:03 +0000

Gard’s Bridge. Photo: © Shutterstock

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans and medieval pilgrims who once roamed this glorious landscape, from its steep gorges and green pastures to the wild nature swept by the winds of the Camargue.


UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pont du Gard is, unsurprisingly, the jewel in the crown of Gard. Built 2,000 years ago, it is a vestige of the 52 km Roman aqueduct that once carried water to the 20,000 inhabitants of Nîmes. Amazement guaranteed, it is the setting for many shows, concerts, exhibitions, fireworks and popular balls throughout the year.

The 12th century Abbey of Saint-Gilles is classified by UNESCO as a stage of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. Walking in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims, you will first be struck by the many engravings on the Romanesque facade and the imposing red doors, the 50m nave and the monumental crypt.


The Romans certainly left their mark on Nîmes, even in the sewers! But of course their most famous legacy is the 24,000-seat amphitheater, the best-preserved in the Roman world, built during the reign of Augustus. Then there is the wonderfully intact Maison Carrée, where you can learn about the history of the city since its inception, the Tour Magne, part of the original city walls and a great place for views over Nîmes and its surroundings. surroundings, and the castellum, the distribution basin for the water of the aqueduct which would be conducted around the city.

As a city of art and history, culture lovers can enjoy a well-filled itinerary, with various museums and the modern art museum, the Carré d’Art to relax. Or if spending is your thing, Nîmes is an incredible shopping destination … well, it’s the homeland of denim (Nimes) after all.


Four of the Most Beautiful Villages of France are in the Gard, north-east of the department. On the borders of the Ardèche, Aiguèze, 11th century fortress; the medieval village of Montclus, where a square keep is the only vestige of the original castle, is on the banks of the Cèze; the stone houses of La Roque-sur-Cèze are nestled among the vineyards, overlooking the Sautadet waterfalls; and Lussan, perched on a rocky peak, offers the attraction of a medieval town surrounded by ramparts.

You will also find Villages of Character, such as Barjac, which is home to two large flea markets, and Vézénobres, a medieval city perched with beautiful Romanesque residences linked by steep alleys. Figs are harvested there, with festivities in August and October.


The Causses and the Cévennes, classified in 2011 as a UNESCO world heritage site for their “cultural landscape of Mediterranean agro-pastoralism”, extend over more than 300,000 hectares. You will find windswept plateaus, rugged valleys and blunt peaks maintained by the sheep, goats and cattle that graze here and are reared using traditional methods. transhumance method. It is the ideal place for hiking and biking.

In the world-famous Camargue, with its marshes, reed beds and endless beaches, you can discover the flora and fauna by walking the Marette trail, guided or alone. A good starting point is the Maison du Grand Site de France de la Camargue Gardoise, an ecomuseum in Aigues-Mortes, with a discovery trail, exhibitions and other events and activities.

Or go to the Gorges du Gardon, another Great Site in France, and explore its remarkable ecosystem of scrubland, cliffs and caves, oak forests and farmland.


Alongside Nîmes, Uzès and Beaucaire are also cities of art and history. Beaucaire is a river port with a charming marina and a historic center with mansions dating from the 17th century. If you’re not too tired, walk up to the fortress for stunning views of the city. In the historic district of Uzès, do not miss the emblematic 11th century Romanesque tower Fenestrelle (“Tower of the window”), the only round bell tower in France, or the fabulous Saturday market.

Nîmes Bridge
The Roman city of Nîmes. Photo: © Shutterstock

From France Today magazine

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Historic Collinsville opens for the season June 5 with a blacksmithing demonstration Tue, 01 Jun 2021 21:13:00 +0000

CLARKSVILLE, TN – The historic pioneer facility of Collinsville in rural Montgomery County will celebrate its opening weekend of the 2021 season on June 5-6.

The 40-acre open-air property showcases pioneer life from 1840 to 1900 with 16 authentically furnished buildings.

“We are privileged to have this type of property here in our own community,” said Theresa Harrington, Executive Director of Visit Clarksville. “We hope that everyone on site, as well as visitors traveling here, will come out and fully enjoy a quiet day in the county with a picnic, quality family time and enjoying the beautiful property while discovering local history. ”

Something new that visitors will appreciate this year is the addition of audio tours.

“There is so much to discover and experience, especially if you are a first-time visitor,” Harrington said. “To help us meet social distancing recommendations and as a cost-effective alternative to in-person guides, we’ve created a way for visitors to hear the stories of the buildings with authentic voices. Visitors can scan QR codes from a map printed on their phone and hear interesting details and facts about each structure or room.

Funding for the production of the audio program was provided by a CARES grant through the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. Narrators Frank Lott, Executive Director of the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, and Ellen Kanervo, Director of the Arts & Heritage Development Council, volunteered their time and talents to share the stories.

Seasonal activities and events in the colony will begin with a blacksmithing demonstration on June 5.

On Friday, June 18, dress in your finest 1800s outfits and put your detective skills to the test at a classic 1800s murder mystery dinner. Seating and social time begin at 5:30 pm , a catering dinner from North Meets South will be served at 6:30 p.m., then the drama begins with dessert. The Murder Mystery event is intended for ages 21 and over and seating is limited. View the detailed dinner menu and purchase tickets on The Murder Mystery Dinner is a fundraiser that will help restore more buildings and add more activities.

In the regular season, from June 5 to Oct. 5, 30, Historic Collinsville is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission is $ 8 for ages 6 and over. Military members receive a 10% discount with valid ID, admission to special events varying. The property is open other days and times for groups of six or more tours, rentals, weddings or special events.

Advance tickets for all events this season can be purchased at

For more information on the historic town of Collinsville, please visit, follow them on Facebook or contact Linda Ebel by phone or email at 931-245-4344 or

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Vaccination centers dedicated to teachers: Govt Tue, 01 Jun 2021 16:40:42 +0000

The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has decided to set up dedicated COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country for teaching and non-teaching staff at all public and private educational institutions.

According to the details, new vaccination centers will be established at tehsil level across the country while separate counters in current vaccination centers will be reserved for this purpose.

Whereas the CNOC has taken this decision to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination of teaching and non-teaching staff and to ease the pressure on mass vaccination centers across the country.

On the contrary, last week the NCOC granted a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination center to teachers and non-teaching staff to ensure a safe environment for education and exam conduct across the country.

The announcement revealed that the pressure was mounting as teachers and non-teaching staff blocked existing vaccination centers, after which the NCOC decided to create dedicated COVID-19 vaccination centers for them.

Earlier this week, the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) called on all educational institutions to ensure COVID-19 vaccination of all teaching and non-teaching staff by June 5.

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Raid halts construction of Teotihuacán, more art news – Tue, 01 Jun 2021 13:51:00 +0000

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SINCE MARCH, THE MEXICAN AUTHORITIES HAVE CALLED a stop of construction on the edge of Teotihuacán, saying that threatened at least 25 structures on the pre-Hispanic site, according to the Associated press. However, their stop-work orders were ignored. Monday, officials sent 250 National Guard troops and 60 policemen, the AP reports, the closure of work on what is said to be a recreation area of ​​some type and the filing of criminal proceedings against those involved. A Unesco World Heritage site, Teotihuacan is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico.

Related Articles

AFTER NEARLY A MONTH IN A HOSPITAL, Cuban dissident artist following a hunger strike Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara has been published monday and pledged to continue fighting for greater freedom of expression and other rights in the country, the Associated press reports. “After a month in the hands of the beast, we will see how things go in the streets to continue the fight,” Otero Alcantara said, adding that he was forcibly detained at the medical center. He went on hunger strike after some of his artwork was confiscated when he was arrested for participating in a protest.

The Digest

The Black Wall Street Gallery in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood has been vandalized, with white paint smeared on a window bearing his name. The incident took place on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which occurred in his district of Greenwood, also known as Black Wall Street. [New York Post]

Sunjung Kim’s candidacy for president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation in South Korea comes to an end after four years. The foundation said Kim’s contract would not be renewed at the end of June, amid a labor dispute with the biennial union. [ArtAsiaPacific]

A large exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London looks at thousands of years of Iranian history, but some treasures that were intended for the show never made the trip from Iran to the UK. , Tristram Hunt, said. [The New York Times]

Three wooden models of classic Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, have been released by architectural model company Little Building Co. [Robb Report]

If you prefer a full-size Frank Lloyd Wright drawing, his 1950 John O. Carr home in Glenview, Ill. Is up for auction. It sports four bedrooms and three and a half baths, and the suggested opening bid is $ 1.2 million. According to a broker at Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, which deals with the listing, an auction has been selected to attract “a wider audience of art collectors and investors”. [Forbes]

A gold Patek Philippe watch once owned by Andy Warhol will be offered this month at Christie’s online auction. It is estimated at $ 45,000 and $ 95,000. [DMARGE]

The Kicker

LOIS EHLERT, AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR OF 38 CHILDREN’S BOOKS, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (1989), is dead at the age of 86, the New York Times reports. Ehlert was famous for his vibrant paper collages, which caused him quite a few paper cuts over the years. Although she was a prolific and successful author (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom sold 12 million copies), Ehlert has been outspoken about the work that has gone into his seemingly airy work. the Time quote an interview in 2014 in which she said she had “A very full and overflowing wastebasket” since “I make a lot of mistakes.” [The New York Times]

Thanks for the reading. Well see you tomorrow.

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Interviews with medical schools have been remote this year. Good! Tue, 01 Jun 2021 09:55:00 +0000

Sarah Householder spent her final year of college traveling the United States: from the Connecticut campus to New York (three times), Illinois (twice), Minnesota, Maryland, Wisconsin, Georgia and, every time, back. At the time, Householder was leading her college’s first all-female a cappella group with her jazzy soprano voice. But she wasn’t spinning – and she barely had time for harmony. The impetus behind his jet-set lifestyle? Enter medical school.

Householder, now in third year at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, applied to 21 schools – just four above average – between August 2017 and February 2018. She was fortunate enough to be interviewed at age 11, usually by plane on short notice. . She continued to pack her suitcase over and over again in the hope of getting in and, more importantly, getting good financial help. “What I remember most is the time, just how long it took,” says Householder. The “interview” is not so much a conversation as a ritual lasting several days, consisting of trips, panels, meals, visits – all during which future students are observed by the admissions committee – in addition to the real formal answer to the questions. Second, all of that travel takes a lot of money: Householder has tracked almost every penny spent on apps on a spreadsheet. Between August and October alone, she spent $ 905 on interviews, “Spirit: Traveling – Chicago: $ 292”, “Ann Taylor; Blazer – Interviews, $ 55.30, ”“ Uber, Trip to Michigan, $ 34.92 ”- the list goes on.

Why apply – then pay to visit – so many schools? Acceptance rates for medical schools are low; only 41% of candidates enter all over. As several candidates I’ve spoken to explained, most candidates are rarely, if ever, able to turn down an interview offer. It was especially true this year: with a record ascend in applications from this last cycle, interview offers have been more valuable than ever. But they also took less time, cheaper to attend, and therefore a little a little fairer and easier for the hopeful doctors who can’t shell out (and maybe skip hours of work too) to try to impress the committees. We can even hope that a small piece of the medical school industrial complex has been overthrown for good.

All because this year’s interviews, like so many things, have gone virtual. A typical remote interview experience looked like this: a welcome Zoom call in the morning, a question-and-answer session with students and / or faculty, a financial aid panel, a tour video, and two interviews ( 20 to 40 minutes each) with the teachers. It could all be done in a dorm, in a presentable top and sweatshirts, and it was over in a matter of hours.

Overall it worked. “I was really concerned that [our interview day] would be difficult to translate into a virtual platform, ”says Mark Yeckel, associate dean of admissions at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. “It went better than I could ever have imagined.” In fact, every admissions officer I asked said they were left with something that looked like they were pleasantly surprised. “Assuming everyone has the equipment they need, [the remote process] is very effective for applicants and the admissions committee, ”says Demicha Rankin, anesthesiologist and associate dean of admissions at Ohio State University College of Medicine. Rankin noted that the reduction in the financial burden on students was significant.

I didn’t have to look far to find candidates who were pro-virtual interview. I asked how the process went in a forum on, one of the clearinghouses for pre-meds for sharing information. the responses were overwhelmingly positive. Virtual Interviews Save Money: “I earn about $ 16 / hour working full-time in clinical research at a large academic medical center,” user BeingForItself wrote. “Because the interviews were virtual, not having to worry about paying for flights, hotel stays, or paying for food while traveling helped a lot.” Virtual interviews save time – potentially, a lot of it: “I live in rural America, 7 hours from the nearest major airport,” added a user identifying himself as back2skewl. “The virtual interviews were quite frankly the only reason I had such a successful cycle.” One user identifying himself as anotgramnegative was able to continue working as an “intensive care nurse who has worked extensively with critically ill COVID + patients” without interruption throughout the application cycle. The virtual aspect “allowed me to take a job traveling across the country and doing interviews,” they wrote. (Virtual interviews even save lives!) On the negative side, one user argued that reducing interview friction makes it easier for the most desirable candidates to store interview spots, as they can accept any offer. interviews given to them; but it has long been a concern that candidates who can afford all the tickets do so anyway.

This makes some feel that interviews traditionally required travel. Before webcams, if you wanted to talk to someone and see them too – and show them your campus – you had to meet in person. It is no longer the case, and it has not been for most of this millennium. So why did the in-person interviews persist? Part of the answer is that things never are had to change, and therefore has not changed. But it’s also that the interview days are not only devoted to the interview, or even to giving professors the opportunity to chat with the candidates casually. Interview visit extravagances give schools the opportunity to recruit the candidates they want most. Several admissions officers I spoke with expressed concern that remote interviews could put less prestigious, newer, or more rural medical schools at a disadvantage that use them to woo high-profile applicants. “Honestly, it hurts a school like us,” says Yeckel of Quinnipiac. “We’re a new school, we’re a young school, but we have a very, very good teaching and learning facility. So when [applicants] don’t see it, it can make it hard to recruit people. But even prestigious schools also like to court. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Paul White, associate dean of admissions told me, cherishes the opportunity to dispel “myths” about Baltimore.

This is not a sufficient reason, in my opinion. Interviews in future application cycles should be kept at bay. If schools really want the opportunity to attract students to their playground, they can invite successful applicants to visit after they accept them, as many are already doing with the days of “Second Look”. Ultimately, tons people want to become doctors, and a nascent pool of candidates competing for a lagging number of seats means that more and more candidates who would make perfect doctors will not be accepted anywhere. This fuels an admissions arms race where applicants do (and for those who can, pay) just about anything to get in, and too often the ability to pay is mistaken for enthusiasm – or worse, aptitude. “There is now a vast infrastructure to extract money from medical trainees, schools for licensing exams, licensing authorities, board certifications,” Bryan Carmody, nephrologist, assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and prolific medical blogger, told me. “And it exists because it is possible.” Perhaps not surprisingly, 51% of medical students come from the richest quintile of households, including 24% from the richest 5%. While the interview process is not the biggest of the many problems in American education that cause most physicians to come from wealthy backgrounds, it is a cog that deserves to be removed. Keeping the interview at bay would help dismantle a small – but significant – part of the larger infrastructure that prevents American physicians from reflecting the population they serve.

And there is hope that he will stay away. On March 23, an admissions officer questioned the AAMC group’s private student affairs mailing list regarding plans for the next admissions cycle. The results, shared with me by a listserv member, are promising. Of 64 officers who responded on behalf of their school, one will conduct in-person interviews. Two are undecided. Three will be hybrids, which is good, but not perfect. (As Yeckel and others told me, students will likely understand that showing up in person will give them an advantage, even if schools promise it won’t). Encouragingly, four are likely far away and 54 are far away – meaning applicants will have so much less flights to plan and days of their lives to miss. But that upcoming cycle is still being planned with the pandemic in mind. It is the one according to which will be the real test.

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Firefly Tourism sparks calls for sustainable practices Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:02:24 +0000

AAn hour’s drive southwest of Bangkok, Thailand, nestled in a bend in the Mae Klong River, is the village of Amphawa. Until recently, tourists flocked here to witness a spectacular evening light show. Thousands of men Pteroptyx malaccae the fireflies congregated in the three-story mangrove trees bordering the Mae Klong and flashed in sync. “It looks like a big Christmas tree with lots of little lights,” says Anchana Thancharoen, an entomologist at Kasetsart University in Thailand who has studied fireflies for more than two decades.

The district government began promoting firefly tourism in Amphawa in 2004. In just a few short years, hundreds of motorboats were moving up and down the river every night. New hotels, restaurants and roads have transformed the “quiet and peaceful province into an urban area,” Thancharoen says. By 2014, due to light pollution and habitat loss, the number of fireflies fell by around 80%, virtually extinguishing the sparks. Nowadays, most tourists visit Amphawa not for fireflies, but to shop in the floating markets for food and souvenirs.

There has been a huge growth in insect festivals, some of them are incredibly large.

—Glen Hvenegaard, University of Alberta

It’s a pattern Thancharoen and other firefly researchers fear repeating as the popularity of firefly sightings increases around the world. Thancharoen hopes Amphawa’s mistakes will serve as a lesson for other sites looking to capitalize on local invertebrate fauna – before it’s too late.

Fireflies – or lightning bugs, depending on your country of origin – are actually beetles in the Lampyridae family. Generated by a chemical reaction in light-producing organs called lanterns, green or yellow flickers are the elaborate courtship displays of insects. It is “the language of love of fireflies,” explains Thancharoen. Although the females and larvae of some species produce light, it’s usually the males that put on the flashiest shows.

The practice of watching this spectacle has a long history in some countries like Japan, says Sara Lewis, an evolutionary ecologist at Tufts University who studies the sex lives of fireflies. But in recent years, “firefly tourism seems to be really taking off, in part thanks to the popularity of the pictures people take” and share on social media, she says. The phenomenon is part of a larger trend in insect-related tourism – or entomotourism. “There has been a huge growth in insect festivals, some of them are incredibly large,” says Glen Hvenegaard, an environmental scientist at the University of Alberta. Every year, tens or hundreds of thousands of tourists invade Monarch butterfly migration sites in Mexico, glowworm caves in New Zealand and Australia, woolly caterpillar festivals in the United States, and insectariums throughout the world.

HOOKED: The females of many species of fireflies lack wings, making them particularly vulnerable to trampling in areas of high human activity.


Through interviews, surveys and internet research, Lewis, Thancharoen and their colleagues recently quantified global tourism for fireflies, in particular. The researchers found that the fireflies’ tourist destinations are spread across 13 countries in North America, Asia and Europe. At smaller venues like the Pennsylvania Firefly Festival, only 1,000 people come to watch Photinus carolinus exhibitions, while some places in Taiwan and South Korea attract up to 200,000 tourists each season. In 2013, around 51,000 tourists visited the small town of Nanacamilpa in southeastern Mexico to witness the synchronous show of Photinus palaciosi this happens for only two weeks each year. By 2019, that number had risen to over 120,000, according to study co-author Tania López Palafox, a graduate student in the Evolutionary Biology Department of the Instituto de Ecología at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México who is working on
this species.

The researchers’ study is a “timely” effort to understand the threats to beetles and encourage sustainable practices, notes David Merritt, an entomologist at the University of Queensland who was not involved in the work. “It gives tourism managers and the environment a way to work,” he adds.

Overall, researchers estimate that over a million people traveled to observe fireflies across the world in 2019. “It really knocked us off,” Lewis says. “It’s great for tourists – they have this amazing experience – and it’s great for local communities, who in many cases are getting a substantial economic boost. But tourism is not necessarily good for beetles, which, like many insects, face challenges. refuse. “We would love to make this a win-win-win situation, including a win for the Fireflies,” she adds.

See Q&A: World Insect Decline Due to “Death by a Thousand Cuts”

To ensure that firefly populations thrive even as the number of tourists increases, it is essential to protect fireflies at all stages of the insect life cycle, say Lewis, Thancharoen and their colleagues. In Amphawa, motor oil polluted the river and waves generated by boat traffic washed away the banks, destroying habitat for P. malaccae larvae. The researchers suggest that the tours use non-motorized or electric boats to minimize impacts on aquatic larval species. At sites with species that have underground larvae, visitors should stick to designated trails or walkways to avoid compacting the soil and trampling on insects.

The other main threat to bioluminescent beetles at tourist sites is light pollution, which interferes with fireflies’ courtship displays, spoiling their chances of finding mates, Thancharoen says. This means that artificial lights from buildings, streetlights and cars should be kept to a minimum at firefly sites and tourists should refrain from using cell phones, flash photography and flashlights.

A long exposure image taken in North Carolina of male blue ghost fireflies (Phausis reticulata)


“We know enough about it. . . the things fireflies need to survive so they can protect species from some of the threats associated with tourism, ”Lewis says. But, she adds, insect protection can be complicated by the social and economic factors unique to each location. In Amphawa, “there was a lot of conflict between what the fireflies needed, what the local community needed, and what the tour operators were doing.” At the height of Amphawa’s popularity, 200 motorboats brought tourists up and down the river for hours every night, sometimes until midnight, prompting a tired resident to cut down a firefly tree, Thancharoen said. Although some locals reaped economic benefits from tourists, many of the new businesses were run by people from outside the community.

To minimize these types of conflicts and ensure that local residents benefit from firefly tourism, it is important to involve communities in the design, planning and operation of tourist sites, says study co-author Harvey. Lemelin, a social scientist at Lakehead University in Canada who says he became interested in insects after attending a dragonfly symposium. “I looked into those big, multi-faceted eyes. . . and I fell in love with them, ”he recalls. He says that “the inclusion of local people in terms of their histories, their narratives, their experience, their traditional knowledge is an essential component [of sustainable tourism]. By bringing this insight, local tour guides can help make entomotourism not only an entertaining activity, but an experience that teaches visitors to care about insects and their conservation, he says.

In Amphawa, Thancharoen and others set up educational exhibits on the biology and conservation of fireflies and held training programs for tour operators, local residents and children. Now that only a few boat trips carry tourists along the Mae Klong each night, firefly populations are slowly waking up, Thancharoen says. “The fireflies have started to come back.”

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Project to build raids in Mexico next to the Pyramids of Teotihuacán UNESCO Pyramids Aztec Temples Mon, 31 May 2021 20:48:47 +0000

Mexico sent 250 National Guard soldiers and 60 police officers on Monday to seize land near the pre-Hispanic ruins of Teotihuacán, where authorities said bulldozers were destroying peripheral parts of the archaeological site.

Mexican archaeological officials reported last week that they had been trying since March to stop the private construction project, but work continued on what local media say are plans to build some sort of park. attractions.

The National Institute of History and Anthropology said the National Guard helped authorities put in place notices of seizure on property just north of Mexico City. ”The national heritage.

The delay in stopping the project highlighted how Mexico’s outdated and cumbersome legal system makes it difficult to enforce building codes and zoning laws or stop illegal construction, even at protected historic sites. .

The Culture Department said last week it had issued stop-work orders several times since March, but construction crews ignored them. The department estimated that at least 25 old structures at the site were at risk and said it had filed a criminal complaint against those responsible.

Apparently, the owners of agricultural plots are trying to turn the land into a recreation area. The neighborhood is just outside and across from the site’s famous boulevard and pyramid complex.

The United Nations International Council on Monuments and Sites said bulldozers threatened to raze up to 7 hectares at the site, which is a protected area. The council also said the looting of artifacts had been detected.

“Teotihuacán is an emblematic site declared World Heritage by UNESCO, which represents the highest expression of the identity of the Mexican people,” the United Nations Council said in a statement last week.

The destruction so close to the capital has raised questions about Mexico’s ability to protect its ancient heritage sites. Teotihuacan is the most visited archaeological site in the country, with more than 2.6 million visitors per year, and Mexico has hundreds of smaller, more remote and often unexplored sites.

Teotihuacan is best known for its Twin Temples of the Sun and the Moon, but it was actually a large city that housed over 100,000 residents and covered around 20 square kilometers.

The still mysterious city was one of the largest in the world at its peak between 100 BC and 750 AD. But it was abandoned before the rise of the Aztecs in the 14th century.

Even his real name remains unclear. Its current name was given to it by the Aztecs. But the Aztecs may have called the city “Teohuacan” – literally “the city of the sun” – rather than Teotihuacan, which means “city of the gods” or “place where men become gods”.

The pyramids of the sun or the moon have drawn tens of thousands of visitors for the spring and fall equinoxes each year, before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

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Most desirable – and private Mon, 31 May 2021 17:58:46 +0000

Given the first signs of good weather, London’s parks – including Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Green Park – will be crowded. Open to everyone, they are one of the capital’s great joys. However, next to these public gardens there are the private gardens of the capital which can be accessed against payment, either permanently or occasionally.

None is more private than the adjoining garden Buckingham Palace between the mall and Hyde Park Corner. An ecosystem in every way, not only is it the heart of the British monarchy but has nature reserves and wild meadows. London’s largest private garden, previously guided tours of the garden followed strict routes. This year, visitors will be able to roam most of its 39 acres and bring picnics.

Some of Britain’s most famous gardeners including Capability Brown, William Townsend Alton of Kew Gardens, and John Nash were instrumental in its creation. The oldest tree, a mulberry tree planted by James I in 1608, predates all. During the reign of George III, the royal family kept a zoo in the gardens, complete with zebras. The garden is now home to a national collection of mulberry trees, with over 40 varieties, 85 different oak species and over 300 different wild plant species.

Even with a lake and tennis courts, there is still room for a 156-meter herbaceous border and a rose garden. Tickets for this summer’s opening are available although difficult to find during peak periods, but Evan Evans Tours has a confirmed ticket allocation and partners with nearby Rubens at the Palace Hotel to host a picnic with traditional sandwiches, scones and royal-themed pastries.

In far west London (accessible by air and underground) Kew covers over 200 acres, with greenhouses. A planned music festival has been pushed back to 2022, but its secret plant lives will allow visitors to immerse themselves in a series of ‘plant landscapes’ by environmental artist Vaughn Bell.

With only four acres Chelsea Physical Garden is small but delightfully quiet. Begun in 1673, it is the oldest botanical garden in London and it is still an oasis of calm. Open every day except Saturday, there are over 5,000 plants, all edible, including a grapefruit in fruit.

Some London hotels have access to communal gardens which, despite their names, can generally only be used by households whose houses have keys. These included Belmond Cadogan, also in Chelsea which has access to the lawns and tennis courts of Cadogan Place Gardens. Originally laid out in 1886, there are mulberry trees, black bamboos, maples, magnolias and palms as well as the award-winning ‘Sir Hans Sloane’ Chelsea Flower Show garden, inspired by Sloane’s international travels. The hotel can provide blankets, lounge chairs, and board games to help you blend in with other residents.

The Goring goes further with a private garden. A scone cast from Buckingham Palace, this walled garden, with traditional flower borders along its edge is only open to hotel guests and those visiting its restaurant and bars. Afternoon tea in her garden is one of London’s lasting treats, and neither is this one.

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