Local Heart, Global Soul

February 11, 2013

Our Throw-Away Society Goes Global…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Inside  one of the buildings that hosts the flea market that we discovered by accident in Amsterdam, is a large sculptural object that can not fail to grab the attention of anyone who enters.

It’s a massive “wereldbol” (Globe) called “The World of Litter”  made of recycled bottles.

It’s creator is Amsterdam  photographer Peter Smith, who was inspired to make the piece after the stark reality of plastic junk discarded around Amsterdam.

The sheer volume of  this plastic contamination was a shocking wake-up call and he wanted to do something to raise awareness of the problem so formed this giant globe out of dumped plastic bottles  and rubbish that he collected  in his general everyday travels around Amsterdam.

Shockingly, the Globe used only 10% of the plastic rubbish he collected… a very sobering thought. The Globe is formed around a metal supporting frame and was originally displayed out on the waterway of  The IJ. As a child I  was bought up with the mantra of “ Be a Tidy Kiwi” and the thought of littering  is abhorrent to me. Yes, I plead guilty to disposing of  an apple core  into bushes where I’ve walked but never somewhere like a native forest or a beach and never ever anything that wasn’t 100% biodegradable.

Seeing all of these littered plastic waste begs the question: somewhere, somehow we have gone inexplicably gone from being  a society that would never have dreamed of being so untidy to a society apparently so lazy,  it just drops it’s rubbish at it’s feet. That’s not classy people: it’s literally a trashy thing to do. It’s to our complete and utter shame that we have become such a materialistic, consumer driven, throw away society with a disgraceful plastic pollution problem that has now gone global.

http://wheninamsterdam-omyamsterdamtours.blogspot.nl/2012/06/amsterdams-world-of-trash-rubbish-and.html (English Language site)

http://www.kleanworldwide.nl/    (Dutch Language site)

http://eco-eef.blogspot.nl/2013/01/amsterdam-klein-stukje-schoner.html  (Dutch Language site)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 12, 2012

Snell, Going Fast at World Record Speed…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the opposite side of the street from the War Memorial mural there is a statue of a running figure. I go over to investigate and discover that it’s a dedication to Opunake’s most famous son, Peter Snell.

As a Kiwi I grew up knowing that Peter Snell was a national sporting hero and an amazing world class runner, I didn’t know before now though, that he came from Opunake. There’s a plague on the statue that tells me more:

Peter George Snell, DCNZM, PhD, HonDSc born in Opunake in 1938, is one of the greatest athletes of all time and New Zealand’s Sports Champion of the Twentieth Century.

In the 1960’s he won three Olympic Gold Medal for the 800 and 1500 metres and two Commonwealth Games Gold Medals for the mile and 880 yards track events.

He set seven individual world records during his athletic career, including twice setting a new mark for the mile distance. He was also a member of the  of the New Zealand quartet that broke the workd 4×1 mile relay record.

In 1999 he was an inaugural inductee into the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame located at the Universite of Rhode Island.

This statue was modelled by Dr Fridtjof Hanson, bronzed by Ross Wilson and commissioned by the Egmont Community Arts Council in May 2007.

In addition, Wiki tells me:

He was at the peak of his career in 1965 and promising much more, when he stunned New Zealand and the athletics world by announcing his retirement to move on to other things.

Snell’s former world records of 1 minute 44.3 seconds for 800 m, set on 3 February 1962, and 2 minutes 16.6 seconds for 1000 m set on 12 November 1964, remain the New Zealand national records for these distances. His 800 m record remains the fastest ever run over that distance on a grass track, and is also the oldest national record recognized by the IAAF for a standard track and field event. The 800 metres record also remains the official “Oceana” continental area record.

Peter studied at various USA universities before joining University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas as a research fellow and professor in 1981.

He said his greatest effort was the world 800m/880yard double record set on Lancaster Park a few days after his new mile record, with an 800m time that would have won the gold medal 46 years later at the Beijing Olympics.

He’s still a high level sportsman but his new chosen sport is that of Orienteering, where he competed and won at national level in the USA in 2003.Peter’s family name “Snell” is of Dutch origion and actually literally translates as the Dutch word for  “fast“… certainly a name that suited him perfectly during his athletic career.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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