Central Park

Central Park 5 prosecutor won’t seek renewal of Columbia job

NEW YORK (AP) — Fallout from the Netflix miniseries that dramatizes the events surrounding the Central Park Five trial continues.

The New York Post reports that Elizabeth Lederer informed Columbia Law School on Wednesday that she would not seek reappointment as a part-time lecturer due to negative publicity generated by the series, "When They See Us.Read more on NewsOK.com

A Short History of Tall Buildings: The Making of the Modern Skyscraper

From the legendary Tower of Babel to the iconic Burj Khalifa, humans have always aspired to build to ever greater heights. Over the centuries, we have constructed towering edifices to celebrate our culture, promote our cities—or simply to show off.
The Shard: a tall order. (Davide D’Amico/Flickr, CC BY-SA)
Historically, tall structures were the preserve of great rulers, religions, and empires. For instance, the Great Pyramid of Giza—built to house the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu—once towered over 145 meters high. It was the tallest man-made structure for nearly 4,000 years, before being overtaken by the 160-meter-tall Lincoln Cathedral in the 14th century. Other edifices, such as Tibet’s Potala Palace (the traditional home of the Dalai Lama), or the monasteries of Athos were constructed atop mountains or rocky outcrops, to bring them even closer to the heavens.
Yet these grand historical efforts are dwarfed by the skyscrapers of the 20th and 21st centuries. London’s Shard looms at 310 meters tall at its fractured tip—but it’s made to look small by the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which stands at more than 828 meters. And both these behemoths will be left in the shadows by the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. Originally planned by architect Adrian Smith to reach 1,600 meters, the tower is now likely to reach one kilometer high, once it’s completed in 2020.
So how did we make this great leap upwards?
Ingredients for Success
We can trace our answer back to the 1880s, when the first generation of skyscrapers appeared in Chicago and New York. The booming insurance businesses of the mid-19th century were among the first enterprises to exploit the technological advancements, which made tall buildings possible.
Home Insurance building. (Library of Congress, Public Domain)
Constructed in the aftermath of the great fire of 1871, Chicago’s Home Insurance building—completed in 1884 by William Le Baron Jenney—is widely considered to be the first tall building of the industrial era, at 12 stories high.
Architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler first coined the term “tall office building” in 1896, drawing on the architectural precedent of Italy’s Renaissance palazzi. His definition denoted that the first two stories are given over to the entrance way and retail activity, with a service basement below, repeated storeys above and a cornice or attic storey to finish the building at the top. Vertical ducts unite the building with power, heat, and circulation. This specification still holds good today.
The American technological revolution of 1880 to 1890 saw a burst of creativity that produced a wave of new inventions that helped architects to build higher than ever before: Bessemer steel, formed into I-sections in the new rolling mills enabled taller and more flexible frame design than the cast iron of the previous era; the newly-patented sprinkler head allowed buildings to escape the strict, 23-meter height limit, which was imposed to control the risk of fire; and the patenting of AC electricity allowed elevators to be electrically powered and rise to ten or more stories.
Early tall buildings contained offices. The typewriter, telephone, and U.S. universal postal system also appeared in this decade, and they revolutionized office work and enabled administration to be concentrated in individual high-rise buildings within a city’s business district.
Changes in urban life also encouraged the switch to taller, higher-density facilities. Street trams, subways, and elevated rail links provided the means to deliver hundreds of workers to a single urban location, decades before the European motor car appeared on American streets and reshaped urban form away from the city grid.
Apart from a few high-rise mansion blocks around Central Park, New York, the terraced house reigned supreme in the crowded cities of the pre-motor car age, such as Paris, London, and Manhattan, and evolved to nine stories in ultra-dense Hong Kong.
Early office towers filled their city blocks entirely, with buildings enclosing a large light and air-well, as an squared U, O, or H shape. This permitted natural light and ventilation within the building, but didn’t provide any public spaces. Chicago imposed a height limit of 40 meters in 1893, but New York raced ahead with large and tall blocks. Many of these, such as the Singer, Woolworth, MetLife, and Chrysler buildings, tapered off with “campanile” towers, battling to be tallest in the world.
Second-Generation Giants
In 1915, following the completion of the 40-storey Equitable building on Broadway, there was such alarm at the darkening streets that New York introduced “zoning laws” that forced new buildings to step ziggurat-like as they rose, in order to bring daylight down to street level.
The Equitable Building, Manhattan. (Yottabytedev/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY)
This meant that while the base still filled the city block, the rest of the tower would rise centrally, stepping back every few stories, and it forced the service core to the building’s center, leading to the loss of the light-well and making mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting essential for human habitation. This was a radical change in the shape of tall buildings, and the second generation of skyscrapers.
As architectural historian Carol Willis would have it, “form follows finance“: the developers of early 20th century high rise office blocks would work out how to maximize the amount of usable floor-space in a city site, before asking an architect to put a wall around it. Such vast wall surfaces with conventional windows invited patterns of geometric decoration, and the ziggurat style came to be the most recognizable architectural symbol of the Art Deco movement.
Race to the top. Photograph of a workman on the framework of the Empire State Building in 1930. (Lewis Hine/National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain)
The mania for profit-driven tall development got out of hand in the late 1920s, however, and culminated in 1931 with the Chrysler and the Empire State buildings. The oversupply of office buildings, the depression of the 1930s and World War II brought an end to the Art Deco boom. There were no more skyscrapers until the 1950s, when the post-war era summoned forth a third generation: the International Style, the buildings of darkened glass and steel-framed boxes, with air conditioning and plaza fronts that we see in so many of the world’s cities today.
The Great Pyramid of Giza. (Nina/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA) The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. (Coolmanjackey/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA) The 1,000-year-old monasteries of Mount Athos, located on a peninsula east of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, on Sept. 9, 2005. (Fotis Filargyropoulos/AFP/Getty Images) Torre di Pisa in Pisa, Italy. (Davide Ragusa/Unsplash.com) The Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, England, on Nov. 30, 2009. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. (Noah Rosenfield/Unsplash.com) The Woolworth Building and surrounding buildings, New York City, c. 1913. (Library of Congress, Public Domain) The MetLife Building with Grand Central Terminal in the foreground, in New York City. (Jnn13/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA) Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France. (Louis Pellissier/Unsplash.com) The Empire State building in New York City. (Ben Dumond/Unsplash.com) Cube house in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Tim Gouw/Unsplash.com) Financial District in Toronto, Canada. (Matthew Wiebe/Unsplash.com) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Donaldytong/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)
David Nicholson-Cole is an assistant professor in architecture at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Pooja Mor on Modeling Life, New York, and What Keeps Her Grounded

Fashion modeling, as one might imagine, is not for the fainthearted. It is a world where one has to walk the line between open self-expression and mystery, between being a blank canvas and the total embodiment of a brand’s look, and above all else, being fearless with just the right amount of vulnerability.
If one had to create such a creature, it would sound like a tall order. Yet New York-based Indian model Pooja Mor is all that and quite a lot more.
After being scouted—via Instagram—by the folks over at Louis Vuitton, many other major brands followed. She’s walked and posed for Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Tory Burch, Narciso Rodriguez, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, Jill Stuart, and Elie Saab. She was not just catapulted to runways and magazine covers, but as a figure of diversity for fashion fans.
If you can really live every second, you will really feel the beauty of life on a much deeper level. Follow your destiny and be grounded in yourself.— Pooja Mor

Soft-spoken, humble, and wise, Mor recounted the quirky twist of fate that thrust her into the limelight and launched her career in a conversation with this Epoch Times reporter in Chelsea, Manhattan.
Fashion model Pooja Mor meditates in Central Park on April 19, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
An Unplanned Miss Ahmedabad
In college, where Mor studied computer engineering, she got involved with a modeling hunt in the city of Ahmedabad called Fresh Face—as an organizer.
But as the crowd became increasingly rowdy, cheering for the contestants, she stepped on stage to curb their enthusiasm so that the event could continue smoothly.
Instead of heeding her request, the venue resounded to the name of Pooja!
It turns out her friend had submitted her name as one of the contestants as a joke.
The judges asked her to showcase her talents and, on the spur of the moment, Mor decided to simply walk, stopping at the end of the stage to do a turn and some “funny” poses.
To cut a long story short, to Mor’s great surprise, she turned out to be the “fresh face” they were looking for and won the contest.
Her first modeling stints, during Fashion Week in Delhi and then in Mumbai, gave her a taste of things to come, although she didn’t foresee that her next job would land her in Bob Hope’s futuristic house in Palm Springs where she modeled the Louis Vuitton Resort collection just last May.
It has been exactly one year since Mor decided to call New York home—or at least, a home away from home. Yet dressed in skinny jeans, a black leather jacket, and comfy lace-up boots, she looks the part of a New Yorker, except that she wears no make up.
“New York is the easiest city to live in because everybody is from everywhere and there’s a common language as well. And there are so many options for everything,” she said, speaking softly.
Fashion model Pooja Mor in Central Park on April 19, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
A day off means going to see Bollywood movies with friends, cooking and eating Indian food, trips to the library, walking in Central Park, and going to Brooklyn to relax and explore outside Manhattan.
She returns to India to de-stress from the crescendo of engagements that culminate around fashion weeks, then comes back again to the energy hub that is New York.
Mor credits her seamless adjustment to the high pressure world of fashion to always maintaining a positive attitude—the rest “flows from that,” she said, including her “runway face.”
“You need to have a lot of confidence to walk in front of so many people and they’re looking at every single inch of you,” she said, punctuating every word. “Even if it’s for 30 seconds, you really feel it. I have good thoughts.”
What also helps is the fact that Mor studied Indian classical dance in the Kathak (storytelling) style from the time she was a child, performing onstage in full costume and makeup.
“People notice that I move differently. I think dancing helped me a lot,” she said.
Mor discussed her career, her advice to models who are starting out, and some philosophies that keep her grounded on a daily basis. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Fashion model Pooja Mor in Central Park on April 19, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Quick Q&A
Epoch Times: What keeps you grounded?
Ms. Mor: I started Falun Dafa two years ago. I always keep some time for myself [in the morning], doing Dafa exercises (meditation) and then Pilates. That time is my time that connects me to myself—to look within. Being born Indian I always did meditation—yoga and meditation, you just do since you’re a kid. My family is so spiritual. That makes me look at life differently.
Epoch Times: Role models?
Ms. Mor: Blake Lively. When I was in India I was inspired when I saw her Gucci campaign, but I also like her style, and the way she carries herself is very beautiful.
Epoch Times: Have you ever been surprised by the way you are captured in a photo?
Ms. Mor: It’s always so amazing to create something so different from what you are, and also to still have the connection of yourself to that.
Epoch Times: What is your beauty routine?
Ms. Mor: I don’t use soap on my face, I just rinse with water and I use coconut oil—it’s great for your skin, andhair as well.
Epoch Times: If you were to be involved with the beauty industry, what kind of products would you be involved with?
Ms. Mor: Ideally, [products for] hair, and any natural, organic skin care. And makeup is amazing—it can give you so many ideas; you can create so much.
Epoch Times: What would you do if modeling didn’t work out?
Ms. Mor: I would continue with my studies but I’m still looking to find out what I’d like to do my post-gradate studies in. I was preparing to do my MBA [Master of Business Administration] after completing my computer engineering degree, but then I started modeling.
Epoch Times: Favorite place to travel apart from your home town in Gujarat?
Ms. Mor: Paris, I love the city. The first time I went there, I felt like I was walking in a dream. I was really touched, by the architecture. Now I’m used to it, but I still remember the first time; I just walked along the river and the whole city looked so much like a dream.
Epoch Times: If you could time travel, which period would you go to?
Fashion model Pooja Mor in Central Park, New York, on April 19, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Ms. Mor: I can answer it but I will answer it according to Indian culture. I would like to go to the time of Satiyug [Satya Yuga]. It is the time when humans were just born, and it was the first period of time. So [in Indian culture] the periods are divided in four Yugas (ages): Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and the last one, Kali Yuga, which is now.
Epoch Times: Why Satiyug?
Ms. Mor: Because I always heard about it in stories. At that time, the culture was so deep. [It was a time when] human and gods were very close, and you could talk to any god you want. People didn’t have much pain or suffering. They used to go to the goddess of color to get more colors. There are many TV series about these stories. And you can also read them in the scriptures.
Epoch Times: What do you hope to communicate to the world through your work?
Ms. Mor What I’ve seen here, is how people are always stressed about what is going to happen. I think if you can just let go of that, and just follow your path, it’s easier. So if you can really live every second, you will really feel the beauty of life on a much deeper level. Follow your destiny and be grounded in yourself.
Epoch Times: What about some of the decisions that models are sometimes asked to make?
Ms. Mor: The most important thing is that you should know what you want to do, and you should also know what you don’t want to do. You make your own decision. Sometimes girls do things under pressure, trying to launch their careers. But if you have the talent, your career is going to go well, any which way. Turning down one thing will not stop you from doing a thousand other things.
Fashion model Pooja Mor in Central Park on April 19, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Cute Friendly Swimming Pigs in Bahamas, No Kidding (+ Photos, Videos)

The Bahamas, the Commonwealth nation of hundreds of islands roughly the size of Connecticut and with population of just a bit over Anaheim, is known for its crystal waters and pristine beaches—and its swimming pigs.
It is unclear when the pigs first appeared on Exuma Island or where they come from. There’s talk about a (daring) escape from a shipwreck, or sailors releasing the swine on purpose. In all probability, there were no pigs on this tropical paradise before European settlers came, so their mere presence is the work of human. The intriguing feat of nature, however, is that this population of pigs developed a fine aptitude for swimming.
Water’s good today. (Lisa Larsen/Public Domain/CC0 1.0)
“It’s unreal,” commented Capt. Jerry Lewless of Capt. Jerry Tours in a short documentary called “When Pigs Swim.”
Some two dozen pigs and piglets cruise the pristine waters of Exuma, surviving on what the locals and stream of tourists give them. Yes, unlike squirrels in the Central Park, these animals you’re allowed to feed. And boy, do people take advantage?
“The rest of the tour is really the beauty of Exuma, but the swimming pigs are the drawing card,” said Capt. Raymond Lightbourn of Exuma Water Sports in the documentary.
That’s right. This is possibly one of the world’s most beautiful havens of nature, yet people are coming here to see pigs.
And who can blame them? We’re just so easy to be distracted by the unusual. I mean, what if I told you there’s a photo gallery called “Top 10 Tight Fitting Animals Wearing Jeans” and the first picture is a pug? Ok, here’s the gallery. See?

Thousands Flood Central Park in Super-Fun Waterfight NYC 2015 (+ Photos)

NEW YORK—Waterfight NYC 2015 just turned the Great Lawn of the Central Park into a soaked battle zone. Kids and adults (predominantly adults) dusted off their water-spewing weaponry and unleashed refreshing mayhem on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
An astonishing 64,000 people confirmed attendance through the event’s Facebook page. Understandably, the authorities took slight issue the event’s popularity since the permit didn’t allow numbers of that magnitude. Still, a couple thousand people were allowed on the Great Lawn and more, waiting in line, were gradually let in.
Though dubbed a “fight,” there wasn’t much competition—winners were everyone having fun. Maybe only those who somehow remained dry could be considered as loosing.
While some geared up with costumes, goggles, and humongous Super Soakers (or other brand equivalents), other participants seemingly came more to receive than to deal water damage, carrying low-range armaments and wearing little to no protective gear.
In the end, though, situations sometimes reverse, with the best equipped combatants also drawing the most fire from the crowd. Clearly their superior firepower and defensive capabilities were no match for the incessant drenching streams of laughing assaulters.
According to a Facebook post by Brian De La Cruz, organizer of Waterfight NYC, the event took place without incident and he is already working on next year’s fun, promising “It’ll only get better!”
A few tips for next year’s fighters
no water balloons allowed
no replica guns (for obvious reasons)
never target eyes
never target photographers and cameramen
carry A LOT of water—ammo runs out fast
consider swimming goggles
fast-drying apparel may be more fun than water-resistant
To find your best weapon of choice, consult a specialized site, such as iSoaker.com.