Posts tagged with "National Geographic"

Ready to roll: Airstream museum opens in Ohio

June 9, 2022

Ohio may not be at the top of your bucket list for summer travels, but if you own or love Airstreams—those shiny, silver travel trailers that are hallmarks of the American open road—then you might want to revise your plans. The company has just opened the Airstream Heritage Center, located inside its world headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio, reports Forbes.

The Heritage Center brings Airstream’s history to life in a museum space that highlights over 90 years of globetrotting adventures. It celebrates both the company’s cutting-edge innovation and the thousands of people who have helped build Airstreams by hand since 1931.

There has long been a partnership between Airstream design and travel adventures. Design aficionados love their looks, while their distinctive shape still commands awe and respect on American highways, says Forbes.

A 1960 Airstream Bambi travel trailer has long been part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). You’d be hard-pressed to find a more passionate band of vehicle owners than those who own Airstreams, which have become true emblems of the American passion for driving and discovering.

There are more than 15 vintage Airstream models on display, including a 1938 Clipper, an example of the first riveted aluminum Airstream model. There’s also the Gold Airstream that company founder Wally Byam used to lead the Capetown to Cairo Caravan, a seven-month journey.

The Heritage Center uses Airstream’s collection of original films and photographs of caravanners traveling around the globe. It begins with the first Airstream Caravan in 1951 and the collection includes country flags flown during the Around the World Caravan and travel diaries from the Africa Caravan.

In 1956, Byam shipped 36 Airstreams and 87 caravanners across the Atlantic Ocean for the first Wally Byam Caravan to Europe. Throughout the course of the six-month trip, the caravanners visited 16 countries and traveled 16,000 miles. The trip was documented by National Geographic and the white Airstream Byam used to lead the group is in the Heritage Center.

For those more interested in the mechanics and design of Airstreams, there are selections from the Airstream Archives on display, some 90 years of company history, product testing films, brochures, engineering drawings, newspaper articles, and even plans for NASA’s Mobile Quarantine Facilities.

“For years we’ve been looking for the right way to celebrate our history, and our new Heritage Center is a testament to the products that inspired generations of travelers, and the people who built this brand into an American icon,” said Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler.

“The vintage models, mementos, journals, and films on display vividly illustrate how an Airstream is more than simply a recreational vehicle. It’s a vessel that holds the stories accumulated over years of travel and adventure.”

Research contact: @Forbes

‘Bee Best’: Angelina Jolie poses covered with bees to raise awareness for conservation efforts

May 21, 2021

Actress and director Angelina Jolie got up close and personal with bees for her latest call to action, People magazine reports.

Alongside a bold new portrait taken by photographer Dan Winters for National Geographic‘s World Bee Day (May 20) exclusive interview with Jolie, the star shared why it’s more important now than ever to protect the bee population.

“With so much we are worried about around the world and so many people feeling overwhelmed with bad news and the reality of what is collapsing, this is one that we can manage,” Jolie, 45, told the National Geographic. “We can certainly all step in and do our part.”

“I don’t think a lot of people know what damage they’re doing. A lot of people are just trying to get through their day,” she added. “They want to do good. They don’t want to be destructive. They don’t know which thing to buy. They don’t know which thing to use. So I think part of this is wanting to help it be simple for everybody, because I need that.”

Jolie—who has been designated the “godmother” for Women for Bees, a program launched by the United Nation’s UNESCO to train and support female beekeeper-entrepreneurs around the world — said it’s up to everyone to pitch in however they can.

“I have six kids and a lot happening,” she said, “and I don’t know how to be the ‘perfect’ anything. And so if we can help each other to say, ‘This is a way forward, simple, and this is something you can do with your kids.’ ”

As for how she pulled off the stunning snapshot, Jolie said she couldn’t shower for three days beforehand.

“It was so funny to be in hair and makeup and wiping yourself with pheromone,” the Those Who Wish Me Dead actress said. “We couldn’t shower for three days before. Because they told me, ‘If you have all these different scents, shampoos and perfumes and things, the bee doesn’t know what you are.’ … Then you put a few things up your nose and in your ears so you don’t give them as many holes to climb in.

“I did have one that got under my dress the entire time. It was like one of those old comedies,” she added. “I kept feeling it on my knee, on my leg, and then I thought, ‘Oh, this is the worst place to get stung. It’s getting really close.’ It stayed there the entire time we were doing the shoot. And then when I got all the other bees off, I lifted the skirt and he went away.”

She noted, though, that it “just felt lovely to be connected to these beautiful creatures.”

“You have to be really still and in your body, in the moment, which is not easy for me,” she recalled. “I think part of the thought behind it was, this creature is seen as dangerous sometimes or stinging. So how do we just be with it? The intention is we share this planet. We are affected by each other. This is what it should feel like and it really did, and I felt very honored and very lucky to have the experience.”

Research contact: @people

Protection for primates: Great apes at San Diego Zoo receive COVID-19 vaccine

March 5, 2021

Several gorillas, orangutans and bonobos at the San Diego Zoo have received an experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed specifically for animals since January. They are the first-known non-humans to get the shot, CBS News reports.

An orangutan named Karen—who made history in 1994 as the first ape in the world to have open-heart surgery—was among those who received the vaccine, according to National Geographic.

Last month, Karen, along with three other orangutans and five bonobos at the zoo, received two doses each of the vaccine, which was developed by the global veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis.

“This isn’t the norm. In my career, I haven’t had access to an experimental vaccine this early in the process and haven’t had such an overwhelming desire to want to use one,” Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife health officer at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, told Nat Geo.

The decision to vaccinate the apes came after Frank, a 12-year-old gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for coronavirus—and then the whole group of eight western lowland gorillas got sick in January. They all are in recovery now.

Infections also have been confirmed in dogscatsminktigers, lions and several other species around the world, reports CBS News. However, great apes are a particular concern among conservationists.

All species of gorillas are listed as endangered or critically-endangered on the IUCN Red List, with “susceptibility to disease” as one of the main threats. Infections spread rapidly among the animals, who live in close familial groups.

COVID-19 has the potential to wipe out populations of gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos if humans don’t take steps to prevent its spread, experts have warned.

Zoetis started development on a COVID-19 vaccine for dogs and cats after the first dog tested positive for the virus in Hong Kong over a year ago, notes CBS.  The vaccine was deemed safe and effective in October—but testing had only been done in dogs and cats.

Still, Lamberski decided vaccinating the great apes was worth the risk. She told National Geographic that they haven’t suffered any adverse reactions and will soon be tested for antibodies to determine if the shots were a success. 

“It’s not like we randomly grab a vaccine and give it to a novel species,” she said. “A lot of thought and research goes into it—what’s the risk of doing it and what’s the risk of not doing it? Our motto is, above all, to do no harm.”

Lamberski said that, because vaccines are made for a specific pathogen and not a specific species, it’s common to give a vaccine meant for one species to another. Apes at the zoo get flu and measles vaccines developed for humans.

A spokesperson for Zoetis told National Geographic that other U.S. zoos have requested doses of the vaccine for their own great apes. The company expects more to be available in June.

Research contact: @CBSNews

Remarkable photos show ‘natural beauty’ of the elderly in the great outdoors

June 22, 2020

Since 2011, Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth have photographed retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, and opera singers in natural habitats around the world for an ongoing project and book series called Eyes As Big as Plates, the BBC reports.

Some of these pictures look like anthropological portraits from antique issues of National Geographic: statuesque figures in remote landscapes, wearing costumes of seashells or palm leaves. Others, the news outlet notes, “have the feel of delirious outdoor fashion shoots, where the stylist has gone wild with natural props such as moss and rubicund fronds of rhubarb (fleece jacket and sensible shoes are model’s own).

In one image, photographed in northern England on a soggy spring day, it takes you a while to see the person at all: She is camouflaged as a clump of bracken on the side of a moor.

And they all not only show the wonder of natural life—but inspire us to wonder about their origins. Why is that older-looking man lying in a rock

Above, Eyes as Big As Plates/# Bengt II/orway 2011. (Photo source: Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen)

pool in Greenland, swaddled in chunks of ice like he’s just emerged from the frozen deep? Or what about the close-up of an elderly woman in a woven headdress set against a wintry-looking sky?

It is part of the project’s concept that you can supply as many answers as you feel you need, Ikonen explains to the BBC during a video call. (Originally Finnish, these days she lives on the Rockaway Peninsula, just outside New York; Hjorth, who is Norwegian, joins the call from her own home outside Oslo).

“In the beginning we were trying to illustrate certain phenomena – folklore, stories, figures from myth,” she recalls. “More recently, we dropped that.”

Hjorth is nodding: “We just try to work with whatever the people we interview bring, wherever they are.” Perhaps some mysteries are better left unsolved.

The title ‘Eyes as Big as Plates’ is undeniably a tribute to Norwegian folklore. It references a story about a large-eyed dog (or possibly a troll) who lives beneath a bridge; the kind of curious, slightly spooky gaze the artists aim to emulate.

The project began as Ikonen’s idea: she’d long been intrigued by Nordic mythology, and nine years ago hit upon the idea of creating a new body of work paying tribute to it. Searching for a collaborator, she came across Hjorth’s photographs – specifically portraits Hjorth had done of Norwegian grandmothers.

Ikonen got in touch, and the two began to plan a new series focusing on older people, reimagining them as powerful figures from lore and legend.

Their photography collection has become a touring exhibition that has travelled to museums in many countries, not just in Scandinavia but far beyond—Bogota, Leeds, New York,  and Rome— and then, in 2017, a book (which is now sold out).

Research contact: @BBCNews

‘Fitting in is overrated,’ if you want to succeed, say Oprah Winfrey and Melinda Gates

December 16, 2019

A lot of career advice boils down to various ways to fit in with whatever professional group you aspire to join. That’s why mentors will suggest that you “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” when you go out to network, and that you police your tone to sound more “competent,” Inc. magazine reports.

But at least two incredibly successful women have exactly the opposite take, says the news outlet for entrepreneurs. Sure, being mindful of others and the norms of your industry is always a good idea. But, according to these two titans, the real secret to career advancement (especially for women) isn’t fitting in. It’s being more truly yourself.  

The latest superstar to offer this take is Melinda Gates, who joined an incredible roster of flourishing females  in sharing their memories and insights for National Geographic‘s new special issue focusing on the lives of women around the world. The issue was produced exclusively by women writers and photographers.

When the magazine asked Gates for her number-one piece of advice for young women, she was blunt in her recommendation.

“Fitting in is overrated,” she replied. “I spent my first few years at my first job out of college doing everything I could to make myself more like the people around me. It didn’t bring out the best in me—and it didn’t position me to bring out the best in others. The best advice I have to offer is: Seek out people and environments that empower you to be nothing but yourself.”

While superficial changes like trading in your hoodie for a suit might make sense,., Gates insists that when it comes to your fundamental character and values, letting your inner light shine beats adapting to your surroundings every time, Inc. reports. She’s far from alone in thinking that.

No less than TV superstar Oprah Winfrey backs her up. As the talk show mogul explained in a recent Hollywood Reporter interview, her stint at storied news program 60 Minutes ended abruptly when she realized the show didn’t line up with her true self.

“It was not the best format for me,” she explained. “I think I did seven takes on just my name because [my way of speaking] was ‘too emotional.’ I go, ‘Is the too much emotion in the ‘Oprah’ part or the ‘Winfrey’ part?’ … They would say, ‘All right, you need to flatten out your voice, there’s too much emotion in your voice.’ So I was working on pulling myself down and flattening out my personality—which, for me, is actually not such a good thing.”

Oprah, who is certainly not short of other opportunities, up and quit to search for projects that lined up more closely with her personality and approach, Inc. notes. That sort of abrupt departure probably isn’t possible for most of us, but we can still put the central point made by both super-achievers to work.

Indeed, according to Inc., research out of both Columbia and Deloitte shows that “covering” your true identity at work (whether that’s your sexual orientation, your introverted nature, or your emotional soul) has a negative impact on your professional performance and psychological well-being. When fitting in comes at the cost of authenticity, the research is clear: It’s not worth it.

Research contact: @Inc