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The Quick 10: 10 Statues of Liberty (other than the original)

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It was recently announced that as of July 4, 2009, tourists (and non-tourists, I suppose) will once again be able to perch in the Statue of Liberty's crown to gaze out across the land. It's been closed since 9/11, so this will mark the first time in nearly eight years that the public has been allowed such access. But just because you haven't been able to see the original statue up close and personal doesn't mean it has to elude you altogether "“ there are replicas of the Bartholdi piece peppered liberally across the world. Here are 10 you can check out if you won't be making it to New York anytime soon.

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1. Billund, Denmark, the home of the original Legoland theme park, boasts a Lego replica of the old gal. She's still pretty large, as you can tell by the people in the picture. (Click for a close-up; the Statue is in the bottom row.)
2. Las Vegas, of course. Because you can find just about anything in Vegas. It's reportedly 1:3 scale and presides over fake skyscrapers and a roller coaster themed to look like taxi cabs. If you're on the Strip, you really can't miss her.
3. Paragould, Arkansas, claims it is home to the oldest Statue Of Liberty in America other than the original. Measuring in at a mere seven feet tall, it's shorter than the real statue's index finger (eight feet tall). But it means a lot to the residents of Paragould, who refer to it as the Paragould War Memorial honoring WWI vets.

4. There are three replicas of Lady Liberty in Paris, but the one that is probably best known is the one that holds court in the middle of the Seine. She's about 22 meters tall (a little more than 72 feet) and has been there almost as long as her taller counterpart on Liberty Island "“ the statue was inaugurated in 1889, three years after the New York Liberty.

5. Visnes in Rogaland, Norway, may seem like a pretty random place for a Statue of Liberty replica, but truth be told, there would be no Statue of Liberty without Visnes: it was the place where the copper used to construct her was mined. The mine has been closed since 1972, but the statue is there as a reminder of the town's contribution to a great work of art and international symbol.

lake6. If you're visiting Webster, Massachusetts, head down to Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg and check out the statue there. She's just a little thing, but she's pretty, and the lake she watches over has a fun name to say. OK, I can't actually pronounce it, but it looks like fun.

7. There's a 115-foot replica of Miss Liberty at the Heide-Park in Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany. It's one of the biggest theme parks in Germany, so it makes sense that it has one of the biggest Statue of Liberty replicas. It's half the size of the real thing and took a year and a half for artist Gerla Spee to construct. The Heide-Park website says "everything in America is just that little bit bigger than anywhere else. And higher and wider and faster," so to celebrate that spirit and the similar spirit of their theme park, they constructed one of the most well-known symbols of America.

8. "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty" was a campaign undertaken by the Boy Scouts of America in 1950. They purchased about 200 small replicas of the statue and then donated them to various cities across the U.S., covering 39 states. Where the cities erected the statues was left to their discretion, so you'll find them in a variety of displays across the country. Although a bunch of them have been destroyed or lost, at least 100 still stand and have been logged by the Boy Scouts of Cheyenne, Wyoming. You can find them here "“ it's pretty cool to look through and see how the statues were used differently. I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the statue that inspired this Q10 "“ the one at the Des Moines capitol "“ was the product of this campaign.

19799. Can you imagine being an unsuspecting bystander at the University of Wisconsin- Madison during the winter of 1979? I'm pretty sure seeing the Statue of Liberty sticking up from the iced-over Lake Mendota, Planet-of-the-Apes-style, would probably stop you dead in your tracks. It started as a joke: two students promised that if they were elected to student government, they would get the Statue of Liberty relocated to campus. And they held true to their word, but sadly, the helicopters bringing her in floundered just as they entered campus and dropped our dear Liberty into the lake. Whoops. The poor thing was set ablaze just a few days later, but she returned in a fireproof format the next year. She was relegated to a storage silo for the next 19 years or so, but just this winter the students dragged her out to the frozen lake again just for kicks. You can see the process here.

human10. OK, so you can't actually visit this one, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. In 1918, 18,000 soldiers gathered at Camp Dodge in Des Moines to recreate the statue using people as a promotion to sell war bonds. It was a terribly hot day "“ temperatures reached at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit "“ and the soldiers were wearing wool uniforms. Several men fainted. Sadly, the photo was never actually used to promote war bonds, but it's still a neat picture. The whole thing is about a quarter of a mile long and 12,000 people were needed for the flame of the torch alone.

Do you have a little Statue of Liberty in your town, or have you seen one in an odd spot? (The people who dress up to promote Liberty Tax don't count.) Share with us in the comments!

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15 Must-Watch Facts About The Ring
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DreamWorks

An urban legend about a videotape that kills its viewers seven days after they see it turns out to be true. To her increasing horror, reporter Rachel Keller (then-newcomer Naomi Watts) discovers this after her niece is one of four teenage victims, and is in a race against the clock to uncover the mystery behind the girl in the video before her and her son’s time is up.

Released 15 years ago, on October 18, 2002, The Ring began a trend of both remaking Japanese horror films in a big way, and giving you nightmares about creepy creatures crawling out of your television. Here are some facts about the film that you can feel free to pass along to anybody, guilt-free.

1. DREAMWORKS BOUGHT THE AMERICAN RIGHTS TO RINGU FOR $1 MILLION.

There were conflicting stories over how executive producer Roy Lee came to see the 1998 Japanese horror film Ringu, Hideo Nakata's adaptation of the 1991 novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki. Lee said two different friends gave him a copy of Ringu in January 2001, which he loved and immediately gave to DreamWorks executive Mark Sourian, who agreed to purchase the rights. But Lee’s close friend Mike Macari worked at Fine Line Features, which had an American remake of Ringu in development before January 2001. Macari said he showed Lee Ringu much earlier. Macari and Lee were both listed as executive producers for The Ring.

2. THE DIRECTOR FIRST SAW RINGU ON A POOR QUALITY VHS TAPE, WHICH ADDED TO ITS CREEPINESS.

Gore Verbinski had previously directed MouseHunt. He said the first time he "watched the original Ringu was on a VHS tape that was probably seven generations down. It was really poor quality, but actually that added to the mystique, especially when I realized that this was a movie about a videotape." Naomi Watts struggled to find a VHS copy of Ringu while shooting in the south of Wales. When she finally got a hold of one she watched it on a very small TV alone in her hotel room. "I remember being pretty freaked out," Watts said. "I just saw it the once, and that was enough to get me excited about doing it."

3. THE RING AND RINGU ARE ABOUT 50 PERCENT DIFFERENT.

Naomi Watts in 'The Ring'
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

Verbinski estimated that, for the American version, they "changed up to 50 percent of it. The basic premise is intact, the story is intact, the ghost story, the story of Samara, the child." Storylines involving the characters having ESP, a volcano, “dream logic,” and references to “brine and goblins” were taken out.

4. IT RAINED ALMOST EVERY DAY WHEN THEY FILMED IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON.

The weather added to the “atmosphere of dread,” according to the film's production notes. Verbinski said the setting allowed them to create an “overcast mood” of dampness and isolation.

5. THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER WAS INFLUENCED BY ANDREW WYETH.

Artist Andrew Wyeth tended to use muted, somber earth tones in his work. "In Wyeth's work, the trees are always dormant, and the colors are muted earth tones," explained production designer Tom Duffield. "It's greys, it's browns, it's somber colors; it's ripped fabrics in the windows. His work has a haunting flavor that I felt would add to the mystique of this movie, so I latched on to it."

6. THERE WERE RINGS EVERYWHERE.

The carpeting and wallpaper patterns, the circular kitchen knobs, the doctor’s sweater design, Rachel’s apartment number, and more were purposely designed with the film's title in mind.

7. WATTS AND MARTIN HENDERSON HAD A FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL RIVALRY.

Martin Henderson and Naomi Watts star in 'The Ring' (1992)
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

The New Zealand-born Henderson played Noah, Rachel’s ex-husband. Since Watts is from Australia, Henderson said that, "Between takes, we'd joke around with each other's accents and play into the whole New Zealand-Australia rivalry."

8. THE TWO WEREN’T SURE IF THE MOVIE WAS GOING TO BE SCARY ENOUGH.

After shooting some of the scenes, and not having the benefit of seeing what they'd look like once any special effects were added, Henderson and Watts worried that the final result would not be scary enough. "There were moments when Naomi and I would look at each other and say, 'This is embarrassing, people are going to laugh,'" Henderson told the BBC." You just hope that somebody makes it scary or you're going to look like an idiot!"

9. CHRIS COOPER WAS CUT FROM THE MOVIE.

Cooper played a child murderer in two scenes which were initially meant to bookend the film. He unconvincingly claimed to Rachel that he found God in the beginning, and in the end she gave him the cursed tape. Audiences at test screenings were distracted that an actor they recognized disappears for most of the film, so he was cut out entirely.

10. THEY TRIED TO GET RID OF ALL OF THE SHADOWS.

Verbinski and cinematographer Bojan Bazelli used the lack of sunlight in Washington to remove the characters’ shadows. The two wanted to keep the characters feeling as if “they’re floating a little bit, in space.”

11. THE TREE WAS NICKNAMED "LUCILLE."

The red Japanese maple tree in the cursed video was named after the famous redheaded actress Lucille Ball. The tree was fake, built out of steel tubing and plaster. The Washington wind blew it over three different times. The night they put up the tree in Los Angeles, the wind blew at 60 miles per hour and knocked Lucille over yet again. "It was very strange," said Duffield.

12. MOESKO ISLAND IS A FUNCTIONING LIGHTHOUSE.

Moesko Island Lighthouse is Yaquina Head Lighthouse, at the mouth of the Yaquina River, a mile west of Agate Beach, Oregon. The website Rachel checks, MoeskoIslandLighthouse.com, used to actually exist as a one-page website, which gave general information on the fictional place. You can read it here.

13. A WEBSITE WAS CREATED BY DREAMWORKS TO PROMOTE THE MOVIE AND ADD TO ITS MYTHOLOGY.

Before and during the theatrical release, if you logged into AnOpenLetter.com, you could read a message in white lettering against a black background warning about what happens if you watch the cursed video (you can read it here). By November 24, 2002, it was a standard official website made for the movie, set up by DreamWorks.

14. VERBINSKI DIDN’T HAVE FUN DIRECTING THE MOVIE.

“It’s no fun making a horror film," admitted Verbinski. "You get into some darker areas of the brain and after a while everything becomes a bit depressing.”

15. DAVEIGH CHASE SCARED HERSELF.

Daveigh Chase in 'The Ring'
© 2002 - DreamWorks LLC - All Rights Reserved

When Daveigh Chase, who played Samara, saw The Ring in theaters, she had to cover her eyes out of fear—of herself. Some people she met after the movie came out were also afraid of her.

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European Space Agency Releases First High-Res Land Cover Map of Africa
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Land Cover CCI, ESA

This isn’t just any image of Africa. It represents the first of its kind: a high-resolution map of the different types of land cover that are found on the continent, released by The European Space Agency, as Travel + Leisure reports.

Land cover maps depict the different physical materials that cover the Earth, whether that material is vegetation, wetlands, concrete, or sand. They can be used to track the growth of cities, assess flooding, keep tabs on environmental issues like deforestation or desertification, and more.

The newly released land cover map of Africa shows the continent at an extremely detailed resolution. Each pixel represents just 65.6 feet (20 meters) on the ground. It’s designed to help researchers model the extent of climate change across Africa, study biodiversity and natural resources, and see how land use is changing, among other applications.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project, the space agency gathered a full year’s worth of data from its Sentinel-2A satellite to create the map. In total, the image is made from 90 terabytes of data—180,000 images—taken between December 2015 and December 2016.

The map is so large and detailed that the space agency created its own online viewer for it. You can dive further into the image here.

And keep watch: A better map might be close at hand. In March, the ESA launched the Sentinal-2B satellite, which it says will make a global map at a 32.8 feet-per-pixel (10 meters) resolution possible.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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