Fireworks Safety Zone on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Fireworks Safety Zone on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

http://ift.tt/2t9C8zK

The Fourth of July fireworks display in Washington, D.C. is a vast annual logistics exercise for the National Park Service. Dozens of security checkpoints, hundreds of porta-potties, thousands of fireworks are prepositioned, all ready for the crush of spectators that descend on the National Mall as darkness sets in on Independence Day.

One lesser-known but critically important bit of preparation involves fencing off a 91-acre safety zone around the launch tubes. During the show this area will transform into a Pompeii-like storm of falling embers and ash while the bombs burst in air above. Immediately after the grand finale, NPS employees dash out into the field to extinguish any small fires and collect hazardous material.

Today the expansive safety zone is spaced to offer an an abundance of caution to visitors, but they haven’t always maintained such a tight ship. In 1987 a woman seated nearby received third degree burns from a softball-sized flaming ember, three others were hospitalized, and 25 received Red Cross treatment on The Mall. The Washington Post interviewed a man seated 45 yards away who recalled that “it literally was raining ashes during the entire display. It was getting in people’s eyes and hair.” Still, as late as 1999 the Post was still reporting on the groups of children who delighted in "chasing the charred bits of firework paper that fell in a rain of ash."

Security preparations began to approach their modern boundaries in 2004 after the completion of the nearby World War II memorial. The Park Service feared that falling ash would mar the new memorial stonework and covered the entire thing in protective tarping, and kept people at a safe distance with fencing. While the tarps were later deemed excessive, the fenced of firework safety zone is likely to remain a fixture of the Fourth of July Mall celebrations for the foreseeable future.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

July 3, 2017 at 05:23PM

Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

http://ift.tt/2tBXQNL

Elfreth's Alley in Philadelphia.

When two real estate owners combined their properties in 1706 to create a narrow residential street to accommodate the swiftly growing population of artists and tradesmen in Philadelphia, little did they know that it would continue to be in use more than three centuries later. 

Elfreth’s Alley, in the city’s historic district close to the Delaware river, is widely considered to be the oldest continuously used residential street in the United States. It is named after silversmith Jeremiah Elfreth who is said to have commissioned and developed it. 

The street was not a part of the original blueprint for Philadelphia, but as business flourished, especially around the river, the city center grew and there was a need for more homes. The narrow cobblestone alleyway, with residences built in the Federal and Georgian styles, housed people from different walks of life and was an active site of commerce, as many tradespeople like grocers and cabinet-makers used the first floor of their homes to run their businesses.

This spirit remains in place today as many artists and entrepreneurs have made it their home, even as visitors constantly walk around the alley and peer at the features of the 32 buildings. The charming flower boxes, the colorful doors and windows, and the brick work have endured across centuries, with the help of 20th conservation activists who worked to preserve it as a model colonial street.  

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

July 3, 2017 at 05:23PM

Fireworks Safety Zone on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Fireworks Safety Zone on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

http://ift.tt/2t9C8zK

The Fourth of July fireworks display in Washington, D.C. is a vast annual logistics exercise for the National Park Service. Dozens of security checkpoints, hundreds of porta-potties, thousands of fireworks are prepositioned, all ready for the crush of spectators that descend on the National Mall as darkness sets in on Independence Day.

One lesser-known but critically important bit of preparation involves fencing off a 91-acre safety zone around the launch tubes. During the show this area will transform into a Pompeii-like storm of falling embers and ash while the bombs burst in air above. Immediately after the grand finale, NPS employees dash out into the field to extinguish any small fires and collect hazardous material.

Today the expansive safety zone is spaced to offer an an abundance of caution to visitors, but they haven’t always maintained such a tight ship. In 1987 a woman seated nearby received third degree burns from a softball-sized flaming ember, three others were hospitalized, and 25 received Red Cross treatment on The Mall. The Washington Post interviewed a man seated 45 yards away who recalled that “it literally was raining ashes during the entire display. It was getting in people’s eyes and hair.” Still, as late as 1999 the Post was still reporting on the groups of children who delighted in "chasing the charred bits of firework paper that fell in a rain of ash."

Security preparations began to approach their modern boundaries in 2004 after the completion of the nearby World War II memorial. The Park Service feared that falling ash would mar the new memorial stonework and covered the entire thing in protective tarping, and kept people at a safe distance with fencing. While the tarps were later deemed excessive, the fenced of firework safety zone is likely to remain a fixture of the Fourth of July Mall celebrations for the foreseeable future.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura http://ift.tt/SEYBhH

July 3, 2017 at 05:19PM

This Very, Very Heavy Truck Is Too Much for Rhode Island

This Very, Very Heavy Truck Is Too Much for Rhode Island

http://ift.tt/2uhW5mu

A tractor-trailer with 100 wheels and carrying a 161-ton generator was stopped Thursday in Rhode Island after an employee from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) spotted it on Interstate 95 in Warwick. The haul is hardly among the heaviest in history, but Rhode Island officials still worry that it could collapse one of several dozens bridges the truck would need cross en route to its destination.

This meant that the truck was stranded on the side of the road before being moved Friday to a nearby parking lot, according to the Warwick Post, while officials figure out what to do. (A spokesman for RIDOT did not immediately return a request for comment.)

The truck, which weighs 280 tons in total, was set to deliver the generator to a General Electric facility in Medford, Massachusetts, over a route that includes nearly three dozen bridges in Rhode Island alone, some of which are structurally insufficient.

Bay Crane, the company that owns the truck, told WJAR that they expected to have permits for the trip approved, which is why the truck set off to begin with. (After originating in Quonset Point, the truck got about 10 miles into its journey before it was spotted.)

Now a new route to Medford will have to be determined, and bridges along the way assessed. According to the Warwick Post, the generator is one of 18 General Electric expects for delivery to Medford—meaning that this will be the first of many tests for Rhode Island’s infrastructure.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

July 3, 2017 at 04:48PM

Found: The Remains of Sally Hemings’ Small Room at Monticello

Found: The Remains of Sally Hemings’ Small Room at Monticello

http://ift.tt/2tEb6Bg

article-image

The room where Sally Hemings lived was next to Thomas Jefferson’s bedroom. It was about 15 feet wide and 13 feet long. There were no windows. It “would have been dark, damp and uncomfortable,” NBC News writes.

Archaeologists working at Monticello have uncovered the remains of Hemings’ room, which was built in 1809, NBC News reports. For many decades, this room was forgotten; at one point the space was converted to a men’s bathroom to accommodate visitors to the historic house.

Hemings, a slave who is known as Jefferson’s “mistress,” would have lived in somewhat better conditions than other slaves on Jefferson’s property. In the excavation, archaeologists found her room’s original hearth, fireplace, and floors. The excavation is part of a project aiming to tell the full story of Monticello—including the story of the slaves that Jefferson kept.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

July 3, 2017 at 03:44PM

12 Big Winners in Travel Advertising at Cannes Lions 2017

12 Big Winners in Travel Advertising at Cannes Lions 2017

http://ift.tt/2siNxdB

Expedia and Visit Britain won an award for their campaign that encouraged travel beyond London.

Skift Take: The big lesson here is that digital first is the future.

— Jason Clampet

Editor’s Note: This past week creatives from around the world descended on the south of France for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the most coveted creative awards in the industry.

Jesse Desjardins, global manager of social content for Tourism Australia was on hand during the event and he shared his insights below on the most-awarded campaigns in travel. Skift has covered Desjardins work at Tourism Australia in the past, most notably the destination marketing organization’s Instagram efforts.

Here are the travel campaigns that received accolades:

Campaign: Doors of Thrones, Tourism Ireland
Agency: Publicis London

This winner of the Grand Prix and Silver Lion award in the Effectiveness category was also featured in last year’s review, and is also a tourism campaign with a local spin. While the renowned Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is beloved and frequently visited by tourists to Chicago, it’s been largely ignored by locals who consider it intimidating; only 25% of paid visitors were locals. The AIC needed to show that they were a welcoming place — and how better to show people they’re welcome than invite people to stay over?

As part of their exhibition on Van Gogh’s work, the AIC recreated the artist’s bedroom as part of the exhibit and then put the room up on Airbnb. It was the most successful exhibition the museum had in 15 years — but most importantly, that success was generated by local attendance, which was up 97% and provided the majority of the visits. It was the first time in a decade that the majority of visits had come from locals. The ROMI of the campaign, developed by Leo Burnett Chicago, was $4.07:1.

Travel

via Skift https://skift.com

July 3, 2017 at 03:33PM

Kincho Raccoon Statue in Komatsushima, Japan

Kincho Raccoon Statue in Komatsushima, Japan

http://ift.tt/2t9gMml

Kincho Raccoon Statue in Komatsushima Station Park

In a quiet park in a small harbor town on the east coast of the Japanese island of Shikoku, a 15-foot high concrete statue of a giant, lantern-carrying, raccoon towers over locals playing croquet from its perch on a large rock.

If a tourist looks puzzled enough, one of the local athletes may come over and demonstrate the unusual features of this public art installation. If you stand right in front of the raccoon and clap your hands as if praying at a Shinto shrine, a motion-activated sensor will turn on pumps that create a large waterfall cascading over the cliff behind the larger-than-life mammal.

While small pottery figures of raccoons are common throughout Japan, usually with a straw hat and jug of liquor outside drinking establishments, the town of Komatsushima takes raccoon statuary to monumental heights, with hundreds of raccoon figures of all sizes throughout the town. These are not your typical mischievous boozing raccoons—they are generally dressed up as warriors in shogun helmets and samurai armor. 

Apparently, long, long ago, a run-of-the-mill mischievous raccoon had been captured and was being tormented by some unkind children when it was rescued by a famous general passing by on the road. In gratitude for being rescued, the raccoon changed its devious ways, promoted kindness towards all, and itself became a famous general, known as Kincho. Kincho led local armies to a number of victories, earning it this unusual enshrinement at the center of the city park.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura http://ift.tt/SEYBhH

July 3, 2017 at 03:04PM

Last Chance to Get up to 70k Miles With These Delta Amex Sign-Up Bonuses

Last Chance to Get up to 70k Miles With These Delta Amex Sign-Up Bonuses

http://ift.tt/2syw7y8

Since late May, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express have been offering elevated sign-up offers, letting you earn double the usual bonuses. However, these will only be available through July 5 — two days from now — so now’s your last chance to apply and receive more miles than usual.

As a reminder, the current offer with the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card is 60,000 SkyMiles after you spend $3,000 in the first four months, plus a $50 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase with the card in the first four months. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth $720, and the card comes with a few elite-like perks such as a free checked bag and priority boarding. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

The more premium Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card is offering 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $4,000 in the first four months, and you can also earn a $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase in the first four months. 70,000 miles are worth $840 based on TPG’s valuations, and the 10,000 MQMs you’ll earn from this increased sign-up offer will get you 40% of the way to Delta Silver Medallion (though you’ll need to meet the MQD requirement as well to earn that status). You can earn additional MQMs by meeting spending thresholds, and the card offers an annual companion certificate for round-trip domestic travel in the main cabin. This card has a $195 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

These two cards won’t make sense for everyone — the priority boarding and free checked bag will really only matter if you frequently fly Delta, and the Platinum Delta Card‘s MQMs are only useful to those working toward elite status with the carrier. However, if you are a repeat customer of the airline or at the very least have an award redemption on Delta or a SkyTeam partner in mind, you’ll definitely want to sign up by July 5 to earn the extra miles.

Travel

via The Points Guy http://ift.tt/26yIAN2

July 3, 2017 at 03:03PM

Kincho Raccoon Statue in Komatsushima, Japan

Kincho Raccoon Statue in Komatsushima, Japan

http://ift.tt/2t9gMml

Kincho Raccoon Statue in Komatsushima Station Park

In a quiet park in a small harbor town on the east coast of the Japanese island of Shikoku, a 15-foot high concrete statue of a giant, lantern-carrying, raccoon towers over locals playing croquet from its perch on a large rock.

If a tourist looks puzzled enough, one of the local athletes may come over and demonstrate the unusual features of this public art installation. If you stand right in front of the raccoon and clap your hands as if praying at a Shinto shrine, a motion-activated sensor will turn on pumps that create a large waterfall cascading over the cliff behind the larger-than-life mammal.

While small pottery figures of raccoons are common throughout Japan, usually with a straw hat and jug of liquor outside drinking establishments, the town of Komatsushima takes raccoon statuary to monumental heights, with hundreds of raccoon figures of all sizes throughout the town. These are not your typical mischievous boozing raccoons—they are generally dressed up as warriors in shogun helmets and samurai armor. 

Apparently, long, long ago, a run-of-the-mill mischievous raccoon had been captured and was being tormented by some unkind children when it was rescued by a famous general passing by on the road. In gratitude for being rescued, the raccoon changed its devious ways, promoted kindness towards all, and itself became a famous general, known as Kincho. Kincho led local armies to a number of victories, earning it this unusual enshrinement at the center of the city park.

Travel

via Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places http://ift.tt/UWqiBg

July 3, 2017 at 03:02PM