Spectacular Peruvian Rope Bridge, last of its kind, carries forward tradition of the Inca

Spectacular Peruvian Rope Bridge, last of its kind, carries forward tradition of the Inca



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Every year, rural communities in Peru carry out an ancient tradition that stems back to the age of the Incan Civilization. Considered a sacred expression of ritual, history and renewal, Peruvians annually spend three days weaving the Q’eswachaka rope bridge to cross one of the many gaps in the ancient Incan road system. The bridge is the last of its kind.

The treacherous process of hanging the Q’eswachaka rope bridge across a span must be repeated each year, but it “structures the life of the participating communities all year round, establishing communication, strengthening centuries-old bonds and reaffirming their cultural identity,” according to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO).

Each year, Quechua-speaking communities gather at the gorge of the Apurimac River in the southern Andes. They collect the raw materials – natural fibers and local vegetation – to twist and weave in order to form strong ropes. The ropes are braided into cables which are then laboriously raised on each side of the gorge, and craftspeople go to work weaving the many ropes into a footpath and handrails, starting from opposite ends to meet in the middle. The bridge, though made only of grasses, straw, and sticks, swings over the gorge and supports local foot and herd-animal traffic, as it has for hundreds of years.

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The hanging structure is located 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) above sea level and is 92 feet (28 meters) long, reports Spanish-language news website Peru21. Each family will produce approximately 230 feet (70 meters) of rope during the event.

Once the bridge is complete, a celebratory festival is held. Each year the process must be repeated, as the fiber bridge sags and requires replacement. The locals maintain the crafting skills and tradition of the bridge by passing the knowledge down generation-by-generation - methods dating to the Incan Empire.

In 2013 the efforts of the communities, and the importance of the bridge and tradition were recognized by the Peruvian government, and UNESCO, qualifying the skills, knowledge and rituals of the bridge building a part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity .

Native bridge builders gather during the annual renewal of the last Inca grass-rope bridge. CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Rutahsa Adventures www.rutahsa.com. Wikimedia Commons

The hanging bridge forms a part of the Inca road and building system, a 20,000 mile (32,187 kilometer) long transportation system of pre-Columbian South America. The fiber bridges spanned canyons, rivers, and gorges, and were perfectly suited to pedestrians and livestock, as the Inca did not use wheeled transportation. The paths and bridges were a necessity for communities and their livestock, but were also regularly used by herdsmen and their llamas or alpacas bearing goods, as well as Chasqui runners.

Chasquis were highly athletic, trained runners who ran great distances, across thousands of miles of roads and bridges, from relay station to relay station. They transported messages or light goods, such as fish. They carried a conch shell which they used as a trumpet.

Illustration of chasqui – highly skilled distance runners - playing a pututu (conch shell). Chasqui were one of many ancient Incans who depended upon rope bridges.

Hanging and maintaining these bridges was, and continues to be, a dangerous activity. The book ‘ Incas: Lords of Gold and Glory’ notes that those working on the bridges often died.

The Q'oya or Chillihua grasses used to build the suspension bridge, rolled, braided and woven into strong cables and ropes. Antisoc1al/Wikimedia Commons

It is clear the annual hanging of the Q’eswachaka rope bridge is a labor of love and respect in order to honor ancestors, unite communities, and carry on ancient tradition.

CCTV reports Diana Alvarez, Peru’s Culture Minister commented on the significance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the Q'eswachaka rope suspension bridge and communities involved in the tradition, saying, “I think it is very important what you have done over the years. This knowledge has been preserved for all of us Peruvians. Peru will never stop surprising us with its traditions, culture, and the majesty of this place where the indigenous have chosen to make the bridge - it makes us all proud of you.”

Newly reconstructed, and the last of its kind, the Incan rope bridge. Wikimedia Commons

Featured Image: The Q’eswachaka rope bridge. Credit: Ministry of Culture, Peru .

By Liz Leafloor


Olmec colossal heads

The Olmec colossal heads are stone representations of human heads sculpted from large basalt boulders. They range in height from 1.17 to 3.4 metres (3.8 to 11.2 ft). The heads date from at least 900 BC and are a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. [1] All portray mature individuals with fleshy cheeks, flat noses, and slightly crossed eyes their physical characteristics correspond to a type that is still common among the inhabitants of Tabasco and Veracruz. The backs of the monuments often are flat. The boulders were brought from the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas mountains of Veracruz. Given that the extremely large slabs of stone used in their production were transported over large distances (over 150 kilometres (93 mi)), requiring a great deal of human effort and resources, it is thought that the monuments represent portraits of powerful individual Olmec rulers. Each of the known examples has a distinctive headdress. The heads were variously arranged in lines or groups at major Olmec centres, but the method and logistics used to transport the stone to these sites remain unclear. They all display distinctive headgear and one theory is that these were worn as protective helmets, maybe worn for war or to take part in a ceremonial Mesoamerican ballgame.

The discovery of the first colossal head at Tres Zapotes in 1862 by José María Melgar y Serrano was not well documented nor reported outside of Mexico. [2] The excavation of the same colossal head by Matthew Stirling in 1938 spurred the first archaeological investigations of Olmec culture. Seventeen confirmed examples are known from four sites within the Olmec heartland on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Most colossal heads were sculpted from spherical boulders but two from San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán were re-carved from massive stone thrones. An additional monument, at Takalik Abaj in Guatemala, is a throne that may have been carved from a colossal head. This is the only known example from outside the Olmec heartland.

Dating the monuments remains difficult because of the movement of many from their original contexts prior to archaeological investigation. Most have been dated to the Early Preclassic period (1500–1000 BC) with some to the Middle Preclassic (1000–400 BC) period. The smallest weigh 6 tons, while the largest is variously estimated to weigh 40 to 50 tons, although it was abandoned and left uncompleted close to the source of its stone.


Detroit’s giant RoboCop statue is real and it’s spectacular, at 11 feet, 2.5 tons

DETROIT - Detroit’s long-awaited RoboCop statue, which has been 11 years in the making, is finally just about complete minus a few finishing touches. It’s ready to serve and protect, but does not yet have a permanent spot to patrol in the city where the 1987 movie took place.

Standing more than 11 feet tall and weighing a whopping 2 and a half tons, the construction of this bronze statue was lead by Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works. The company is known for maintaining, restoring and repairing historic statues from Detroit and all over the country.

The idea for the statue happened around 11 years ago after someone on Twitter pointed out that Philadelphia had a Rocky statue and one of RoboCop would be a “great ambassador for Detroit.” The Twitter user tagged then-Mayor Dave Bing, who tweeted back saying there were no plans for a RoboCop statue.

That’s when Brandon Walley, a filmmaker, and Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder and CEO of Loveland Technologies, created a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $67,000. So, why did it take so long to complete?

“We had to contact MGM who owns the likeness of RoboCop. It became a really long process,” Walley told MLive. “We had to get the exact model made. That model had to be blown up to over a 10-foot mold. That happened in Vancouver, and Idaho. That took years as well. The owner of Venus Bronze Works went through a cancer scare. That was two more years.”

It had been announced the statue would be proudly displayed at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, but that won’t be happening now, according to a statement from the Science Center.

“Due to unprecedented pressures from the coronavirus pandemic, resources must now be entirely focused on our core mission of serving Michigan’s students and families.”

Moving the statue and constructing its foundation will likely cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, according to Gekas. But once it’s placed in its permanent location, wherever that may be, it should hold up well to the elements.

“The bronze is welded to the stainless steel base and the infrastructure ties the pelvis and legs into metal shafts which come up and go into phalanges through the bottom,” explained Jay Jurma of Venus Bronze Works. “There are also phalanges on the bottom of the disc which will connect to lead pipes so when it’s installed with a crane, it will drop into holes on whatever base it’s on which will be filled with epoxy. That will keep it from moving around as the weather changes and the ground freezes.”

The statue was built to be a friendly neighborhood RoboCop. You won’t see it carrying a gun.

“It was determined not to make the statue with him holding a weapon,” added Jurman. “The idea was that he would be in an inviting and approachable gesture as opposed to being armed and threatening.”


"Sheet Music Plus is the BEST! Not only are we able to actually read the contents of an anthology, but their web-site also allows us to see a few pages, just to make sure we're ordering the appropriate difficulty level, and to actually hear a minute or two of a selection as well! Once an order is placed, which I often do due to the very reasonable shipping charge, I almost swear it is in my mailbox the next day! The turn-around service is phenomenal. I've referred several of my musician friends to Sheet Music Plus and hope they are now enjoying your great service as much as I do."

"I'll keep it simple - would I order again from Sheet Music Plus? ABSOLUTELY! Is the price right? Does a wild bear sleep in the woods? Are they fast? Faster 'n two dogs in a rabbit race I live in Germany and my sheet music was here, in front of me at my piano, in LESS than 72 hours from the time I ordered it. Sheet Music Plus doesn't just have great selection, great prices and fast delivery. Sheet Music Plus ROCKS!"


Contents

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! is based on many of the popular stunt scenes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The show uses various pyrotechnic devices which are incorporated into several of the stunts.

The action starts with Indy braving dangers in a recreation of the Peruvian temple scene from the beginning of the movie. Dangerous spikes, false floors and ancient booby traps test the archaeologist's skills before he attempts to make a getaway with the golden idol. The stunt show then moves on to the busy and audience-participant filled streets of Cairo. Indy and Marion watch street acrobats before events take a turn for the worse and a massive fight scene breaks out. The Cairo street scene concludes with Indy shooting at a Jeep loaded with explosives, producing a fiery conclusion. The final scene of the stunt show recreates the action-packed sequence in which Indy and Marion try to stop the Nazis from flying the Ark to Berlin. The reenactment is complete with a scaled-down version of a German Luftwaffe aircraft with Balkenkreuz (swastikas were used in the show up until the 2000s). Indy fights a large German mechanic while Marion operates the aircraft's machine gun, blowing away enemies in sight. Indy and Marion are able to make a narrow escape as the airfield is engulfed in flames.

Along with the former Superstar Television and Monster Sound Show, The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! is a show that relies on audience participation as part of the show's entertainment. Volunteers are chosen from the crowd to perform in the Cairo street scene though they safely stay away from the real stunt work. Along with the audience, one real stunt actor plant is chosen from the audience to do real work, a fact that has become common knowledge after the many years that the attraction has been open (the plant is usually a man in a loud Hawaiian shirt).

The show opened on August 25, 1989, as the first Indiana Jones attraction at a Disney park, and was put on a six-month hiatus in 2000 for refurbishing.

In 2004, the Nazi swastikas on German trucks, aircraft, and actor uniforms were removed and replaced by a Balkenkreuz. [1]

This is the first theme park attraction to use a computer-based show control system in conjunction with a custom made programmable logic controller system to trigger, control and sequence complex live events in real time, controlled by the actors in many cases. All other effects are triggered by a cast member at the booth. The original control system was based on the Amiga computer with software by Richmond Sound Design Ltd. The show is consistently upgrading its electronics and computer elements to keep it up to date. This began a trend in live stunt shows with both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios opening many more similar attractions over the next eight years.

Incidents Edit

On August 17, 2009, 30-year-old stunt performer Anislav Varbanov died from a head injury after rehearsing a gymnastic tumble for the show. [2]

2020 labor dispute Edit

When Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020 following the COVID-19 shutdown, all stage shows such as Finding Nemo – The Musical, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Festival of the Lion King, and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular remained closed due to a dispute between the Actors’ Equity Association and Walt Disney World over allowing performers to wear face masks and providing regular testing. [3]

The Indiana Jones show has two merchandise stores which sell Indiana Jones merchandise and apparel. [4]


Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular To Return This Summer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Summer is back in the city!

The Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular will return next month and Mayor Bill de Blasio vows it will be the biggest show yet, but with some changes.

Thousands of pyrotechnics will shoot from five barges floating on the East River, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported Thursday.

It was the announcement New Yorkers everywhere had been waiting for — the fireworks show is back and will be bigger than ever.

“Our 25-minute spectacle will salute the hero within, highlighting American bravery and optimism. It’s these qualities clearly evident in all New Yorkers during the most challenging time in our history, which allowed our city to come back and move forward into a brighter future,” Macy’s Will Coss said.

Watch: Mayor De Blasio Announces Return Of Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks

“Nothing says summer in New York City like the fireworks show at Coney Island. It’s an amazing event each year. It will be back,” de Blasio said.

Last year due to COVID, Macy’s scrapped its main show for a week’s worth of small pop-up fireworks events across the five boroughs.

People CBS2 spoke with said they are thrilled to have the full-scale event back.

“It was not the same and so it’s really nice to feel like, you know, things are getting back to normal, and we can gather together safely and celebrate big things,” said Mindy Berger of the Upper East Side.

“It’s always a good time of year to get around friends and celebrate,” said Reggie Snipes, of the Upper East Side.

The magic will happen along the East River, and thousands of spectators will watch the spectacular show from special viewing areas designated for those who are vaccinated and those who aren’t, enforced by the NYPD, Moore reported.

“I think it’s a smart idea,” Melanie Chernoff said. “I’m thrilled. It says a lot about how New York is coming back. We’re all very excited and looking forward to it.”

Watch Jessica Moore’s report

Across the river in Queens, the view and the excitement are just as real.

“Celebrations, everybody gathering together family and friends enjoying the time. It feels normal again,” Richmond Hill resident Lenny Lachmen said.

“I’m ready to see the fireworks. I’m going to bring my daughter out here. I just want to see the lights. I want to see the people. I want to feel it again. I want to feel New York City … that electricity again,” said Tremain Gary of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

“Macy’s fireworks is off the hook, so it’s big. It’s great, so definitely I’ll be watching that,” said Jasmine Greenblatt, of Harlem.

Greenblatt grew up watching the show with her father each year.

“Hopefully everybody gets vaccinated and things get back to normal,” she said.

Thursday, about 50 people were vaccinated at the pop-up site inside Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church in Harlem.

“The church … did a great job by creating a space where, here in the church, that’s a trusted environment,” said Johonniuss Chemweno, CEO of VIP StarNetwork, the medical group that ran the site.

He told CBS2’s Ali Bauman not having to wear a mask has been an incentive for vaccine latecomers.

“We also see that just the length of time that the vaccines have been on the market has also garnered some more trust in terms of people’s ability to trust the information that they’re receiving,” he said.

Thursday, Moderna announced it has formally asked the FDA to expand emergency use of its vaccine for 12-year-olds to 17-year-olds.

Meanwhile, an FDA advisory panel also met to discuss the use of the COVID vaccine in young children.

“I’m pretty sure we’re gonna need the pediatric component of immunity to create the herd immunity we need,” said Dr. Mark Sawyer, an infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital.

“We don’t know if we’re doing no harm,” said Dr. Cody Meissner, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts University.

Back in New York, the mayor wouldn’t say exactly how many people will be allowed to attend the fireworks shows. Those details are expected to be released in the coming weeks.


Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

One of Brazil's most iconic symbols, the Art Deco styled statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro is one of the seven wonders of the world. The credit of building the statue goes to Paul Landowski, a French sculptor. The Romanian sculptor, Gheorghe Leonida, was responsible for fashioning the face. The sculpture cost a total of $250,000 which was donated by individuals from in and around Brazil.

Christ the Redeemer is 98 feet tall and has a 26-feet tall pedestal. Its arms stretch 92 feet wide. The 635 metric ton statue, made of soapstone and concrete, is located atop the 2,300 feet tall Corcovado mountain. The construction of the statue was initiated in 1922 and completed by 1931. It is the largest sculpture of the art deco style in the world. However, it is not the world's largest Christ statue. Couples can wed in the chapel at the base of the statue as it was declared a sanctuary in 2006 by the Catholic Church. The statue has been featured in various Hollywood films.


San Antonio park's anticipated skywalk opens with stunning views

The highly anticipated skywalk portion of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge officially opens to the public Monday, April 5 at Phil Hardberger Park.

Priscilla Aguirre, MySA.com Show More Show Less

Its elevated walkway climbs 18 feet off the ground, offering spectacular views of the tree canopy and connecting pedestrians to the Land Bridge, which opened in December 2020.

Priscilla Aguirre, MySA.com Show More Show Less

The Land Bridge and Skywalk are approximately a half-mile walk from the Urban Ecology Center.

Priscilla Aguirre, MySA.com Show More Show Less

No bikes are allowed on the skywalk.

Priscilla Aguirre, MySA.com Show More Show Less

Nature seekers, this San Antonio park has a stunning new feature you're going to want to try.

The highly anticipated skywalk portion of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park officially opens to the public Monday, April 5. The elevated walkway is is 1,000 feet long, six feet wide, and elevated 18 feet off the ground, offering spectacular views. It also connects pedestrians to the land bridge, which opened in December 2020.

The skywalk opens at noon, shortly after Mayor Ron Nirenberg and former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger, as well as other community leaders, host a grand opening celebration. It's the first walkway of its kind built in San Antonio, according to a news release from the city.

Visitors should use the NW Military Entrance for Phil Hardberger Park, 8400 NW Military Hwy. Upon entering, drive down to the Urban Ecology Center (you can't miss it). After parking, walk about half a mile from the center to the skywalk. (It should take 10 to 15 minutes to get there.)

The skywalk will be open to the public during park hours, from sunrise to sunset every day. No bikes are allowed on the walkway. It's also ADA-accessible and features a seating area for anyone who wants to relax under the trees.


15 Bridges Around The World With Beautiful Architecture

They may not be the Brooklyn Bridge or Golden Gate, but they deserve your attention too.

Typically, only a few of the world's great bridges get much attention: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate and the Tower Bridge, to just name three. But throughout the world there are incredibly designed structures &mdash both old and new, small and large &mdash worthy of fanfare. Scroll on to see the structures that truly connect form with functionality.

This Roman monument was built in the 1st century AD, originally as an aqueduct to provide the nearby city of Nîmes (once known as Nemausus) with water. The three-story bridge was made with soft yellow limestone blocks and weighs a total of 50,000 tons.

Climb the cliffside steps of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in the Basque region of Spain for a striking bridge experience by foot. The narrow 241-step path offers incredible ocean views, and the sound of waves crashing into rocks below provides a dramatic soundtrack to your adventure.

As the world's longest and highest glass bridge, the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge just opened to the public in August 2016. If the sight of dense forest 984 feet below isn't enough to excite you, you can also bungee jump and zip-line off the wall.

Also known as the Allahverdi Khan Bridge, this beautiful structure serves as one of the "gates of entry" to Iran's third largest city, Isfahan. It was named after a general who oversaw its construction, which started in 1602.

Built in a moat constructed in the 17th century in the southwest of the Netherlands, this sunken bridge leads to one of the area's fortresses, Fort de Roovere. There are several surrounding routes for cycling and hiking.

Spanning the El Tajo gorge of Ronda, a historic city in Spain, the Puente Nuevo was completed in 1793 after 40 years of construction. It was first proposed by King Felipe V in 1735 to improve an earlier bridge that was impossibly steep.

Singapore's Henderson Waves Bridge was unveiled in 2008, and evokes the shape and movement of a wave. It is anchored by steel and Balau wood, which is only found in Southeast Asia.

The Sky Bridge in Malaysia was built on Pulau Langkawi, which is an island in Malaysia's Langkawi archipelago. The suspended bridge is located at the end of a cable car ride that starts in the Machinchang mountain range's foothills.

This narrow aqueduct carries boats 126 feet over the Dee Valley in Northeast Wales. Hop in a boat and enjoy the scenery for 1,000 feet.

The Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, England is the world's only tilting bridge, meaning it can adjust its shape to allow a variety of boats to pass below.

LED lighting welcomes VIP guests visiting Dubai on the Meydan Bridge: Every year, Royal family members and other A-list guests use the bridge to access the racetrack for the Dubai World cup.

Crossing over the Sacramento River in Redding, California, the Sundial Bridge opened in 2004 and is actually a working sundial &mdash one of the largest on Earth. However, it can only record time from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. because it makes such a large arc.

This is the only bridge in the world that has a single concrete mast supporting two curved tracks. The Octávio Frias de Oliveira Bridge in São Paulo is 450 feet tall &mdash equivalent to the 46th floor of a building at its highest point.

Stroll on a a beautiful bridge, constructed in 1914, as you cross over the Multnomah Falls, a natural wonder that attracts more than 2 million visitors to Oregon each year.

Spanning across the Big Sur coastline, this circa-1932 bridge is one of the highest bridges of its kind in the world, reaching 260 feet above a deep canyon.


Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses due to high winds on November 7, 1940.

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built in Washington during the 1930s and opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. It spanned the Puget Sound from Gig Harbor to Tacoma, which is 40 miles south of Seattle. The channel is about a mile wide where the bridge crossed the sound. Sleek and slender, it was the third longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, covering 5,959 feet.

Leon Moisseiff designed the bridge to be the most flexible ever constructed. Engineers of the time believed that the design, even though it exceeded ratios of length, depth and width that had previously been standard, was completely safe. Following the collapse, it was revealed that the engineers had not properly considered the aerodynamic forces that were in play at the location during a period of strong winds. At the time of construction, such forces were not commonly taken into consideration by engineers and designers.