Contest 564: Maison Fournaise, Chatou, France

Maison Fournaise is a restaurant and museum on the Île des Impressionnistes. It is the backdrop in many of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s paintings, including what is, arguably, his most famous.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Luncheon of the Boating Party - Google Art Project.jpg
By Pierre-Auguste Renoir Google Cultural Institute

Once upon a time, your humble contest admin here had the experience of standing in the presence of Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party”.

I was 21 at the time, home on Christmas break from college, and woefully uneducated in appreciation of art, but the Philips Collection was on tour and this amazing painting somehow ended up on exhibit for a couple of weeks at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. My best friend’s big brother, who we all looked up to, convinced a small group of us to go to the show.

Most of the paintings there were interesting, but not anything to hold a young man’s attention. Then I turned the corner and saw this massive canvas. I was completely transfixed, transported into the scene. You could almost smell the smoke from the cigarette in Gustave Caillebotte’s (sitting backwards in his chair) hand. If you’ve never seen the painting in person, you wouldn’t know that his cigarette has a bright tiny red dot of paint for the “cherry”, a fact I’ve never been able to see in any photographs or prints of the painting. In person, this minuscule bit of red draws your eye directly to it. It becomes the launch point from which you experience the rest of the painting, adding a 4th dimension of time into the viewing. I’ve been a huge fan of Renoir and the other impressionists, as well as art in general, ever since this experience.

If you ever find yourself in Washington DC, I HIGHLY recommend a trip to the Phillips Collection to see this for yourself. I hope your experience is as life-affirming as it was for me all those years ago.

Those who located this site before the hint were:

  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • Garfield
  • Martin de Bock

And after the hint:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Walter_V_R
  • Jesus Rodriguez
  • Hilde Lambeir
  • BC11
  • Wista

Contest #563: Kennedy/Kasolo/Plum Pudding Island

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a brash young handsome Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the Navy in 1943. He had used his father’s connections to rise quickly in the Navy and was offered command of a small “Patrol Torpedo” (or “PT”) boat with a crew of 11 sailors and another officer, Ensign Leonard J. Thom. The designation on that boat was “PT-109”

PT-109 crew.jpg

On August 2, 1943, while engaged in a large battle against Japanese forces in the area, PT-109 was run over and cut in half by a destroyer named Amagiri.

2 of Kennedy’s crew died immediately. The other 11, many severely wounded, clung to life aboard the remains of the boat. As the wreckage began to sink, the crew had to make the decision to swim about 3.5 miles (a little over 5 km) to this island, then known by non-islanders as “Plum Pudding Island”. One of the sailors, Machinist’s Mate Patrick McMahon, was so badly burned that he couldn’t swim himself. Kennedy, who was also injured, dragged McMahon attached to a life jacket strap clenched between the future president’s teeth — for 3 and a half miles. Two days later, the crew swam to nearby Olesana island and 4 days after that, with the help of a couple of native scouts and a message scratched out on a coconut, all were rescued.

JFK PT-109 Coconut.jpg

JFK’s bravery and leadership on this mission were used extensively in his campaigns for the US House, the Senate, and later the presidency.

Those who found this rather tough site before the hint included:

  • Phil Ower
  • Yakubi Dergahi
  • hhgygy
  • Abcdefg Hijkl

And after the hint:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Gillian B
  • Garfield
  • Martin de Bock
  • Walter_V_R
  • Rob de Wolff
  • gscrp
  • Hilde Lambeir
  • BC11

Contest #562: Santa Cruz del Islote, Columbia

With about 1250 people living in an area approximately 1 hectare in size, Santa Cruz del Islote is one of the most densely populated islands on the planet.

Those who found this location before the hint were:

  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Garfield
  • Glenmorren
  • Walter_V_R
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • Lelie
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Luís Filipe Miguel
  • Yakubi Dergahi
  • Martin de Bock

And after the hint:

  • Ashwini Agrawal

Contest #561: Ruins of Union Carbide Plant, Bhopal, India

This is the site of one of the worst industrial disaster in history. Early in the morning of December 3, 1984, the Union Carbide plant at this location spewed methyl isocyanate (MIC) which contaminated the nearby villages. Over half a million people were exposed, most while they were still asleep and had no way to know to escape the gas. Estimates of almost 16,000 deaths between 2300 who died immediately and those who perished from short and long-term effects of the gas.

Bhopal-Union Carbide 1 crop memorial.jpg
By Luca Frediani uploaded by Simone.lippi, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The Wikipedia article on the events of that night is a pretty fascinating read, full of stories of corporate negligence, greed, and failure to own up to their obligations. Efforts to spy on and quell those in the country crying out for justice. Discussions of whether or not this was negligence or deliberate sabotage.

Also, a 2014 movie starring Martin Sheen and Kal Penn called “Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain” details the disaster and Union Carbide’s response from the viewpoint of a kid working for the company.

Those who located the site were:

  • Rob de Wolff
  • Garfield
  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Walter_V_R
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • Yakubi Dergahi

And after the hint:

  • Hilde Lambeir
  • Robin
  • Martin de Bock

Contest #560 — Hamilton Crescent, Partick, Glasgow, Scotland

On 30 November 1872, 4000 intrepid individuals watched the national football teams of England and Scotland play on this site to a 0-0 draw, marking the first-ever official international football match, a precursor to France’s victory last Sunday at the World Cup final.

Scotish illustrator William Ralston was on hand and captured these images:

 

Those who found it before the hint:

  • Walter_V_R
  • hhgygy
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • Lelie
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Jeather
  • Yakub
  • Martin de Bock

And after the hint:

  • Andy McConnell
  • Chris Nason
  • Sandworm
  • David Kozina
  • Robin

Thus ends this series. Congratulations to Garfield, hhgygyg and Phil Ower with perfect 20-for-20 scores this series!!

Also, check out the newly updated KML file with all the locations covered by WhereOnGoogleEarth updated with this series!

Contest #559: Shahrisabz, Uzbekistan

Shahrisabz, historically known as Kish or Kesh, was the birthplace of Timur, a 14th century emperor of a large swath of south-central Asia, including all of what is now Iran and Afghanistan, as well as parts of India, Syria and Turkey.

This portion of the city is home to his Summer Palace Ak Saray. And, of course, there HAS to be a statue, right?

There is a tomb here as well for Timur, though he never occupied it and two unknown people are there now. His oldest son, Jehangir, is buried in the mausoleum complex to the lower right of the image (just right of the octagonal fountain at the bottom).

Jahangir Mausoleum in Shahrisabz 1.JPG
By FaqsclOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Those who found the site included:

  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • hhgygy
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • Walter_V_R

And after the hint:

  • Gillian B
  • Hilde Lambeir

Contest #558 – Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

This location is a small part of the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere and the 2nd largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Coral Reef, Belize 2.jpg
By Andy Blackledgehttps://www.flickr.com/photos/hockeyholic/5657508801/

Until very recently, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was on the “List of World Heritage in Danger”. It was removed because of measures that were taken by the Belize government to restrict oil exploration in the region and protect mangrove forests.

Those who swam with the turtles included:

  • hhgygy
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Garfield
  • Walter_V_R
  • Phil Ower

And after the hint:

  • Hilde Lambeir
  • gscrp
  • Yakub

Contest #557: Roe River, Giant Springs State Park, Montana, USA

Much to the chagrin of the citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon, the Roe River, which flows from the Giant Springs to the Missouri River, it the official holder of The Guinness Book of World Record as “Shortest River”.

At 201′ (61 m), getting the Roe recognized was the brainchild of 5th Grade teacher Susie Nardlinger (who, oddly enough, taught at “Lincoln Elementary” in nearby Great Falls) and her 1987 class. This surpassed the “D” river in Lincoln City (about 750 miles / 1200 km away) whose previous record length came in at 440′ (130 m).

The people of Lincon City were not about to just let this go without a fight. In addition to claiming that the Roe was nothing more than a drainage ditch that some elementary students measured as a class assignment, they also claimed that their beloved D was, in fact, only really about 120′ (37 m) long (at “extremely” high tide). The Roe proponents shot back that the D was just an ocean water backup. This went back and forth until eventually the fine people at Guinness threw up their hands in disgust and discontinued the category just to end the argument, leaving the Roe as the permanent title holder.

“Oh, I saw the river the whole time…”:

  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • hhgygy
  • Abcdefg Hijkl

“Ahhh, now I see that little stinker…”:

  • LawnBoy
  • Andy McConnell
  • Walter_V_R
  • Luís Filipe Miguel
  • Sandworm
  • rob de wolff
  • gscrp

Contest #556: the Comedy Carpet in Blackpool, England

The Comedy Carpet in Blackpool was this week’s contest, and generated lots of correct answers. For the prize this week, based on the comedic theme, we will be deducting 2 points from anyone who got it right before the hint and 1 point for those after the hint. In essence, this means you would have been better to not answer or get it wrong.

Now that I have everyone’s attention, it was all a joke – and points will be assigned as normal.

Created by artist Gordon Young, and designed in collaboration with Why Not Associates, the Comedy Carpet is a celebration of comedy on an extraordinary scale. Referring to the work of more than 1,000 comedians and comedy writers, the carpet gives visual form to jokes, songs and catchphrases dating from the early days of variety to the present. Sited in front of Blackpool Tower, the 2,200m2 work of art contains over 160,000 granite letters embedded into concrete, pushing the boundaries of public art and typography to their limits.

Those who found this included (all before the hint):

  • Walter_V_R
  • Sandworm
  • hhgygy
  • Abcdefg Hijkl
  • Garfield
  • Gillian B
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Phil Ower
  • Chris Nason
  • Glenmorren
  • Eloy Cano
  • Jeather
  • Hilde Lambeir

Contest #554: El Helicoide, Caracas, Venezuela

El Helicoide is a building in Caracas, Venezuela. It has the shape of a three-sided pyramid and is built on a hill. It serves as a facility and prison belonging to the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).

It did not start out as a prison. Designed by the architects Pedro Neuberger, Dirk Bornhorst and Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, the idea included a commercial center and exhibition of industries, a 5-star hotel, a park, a club of owners and on the seventh level a show palace. The building would include a 4 km long ramp spiralling around the hill, allowing vehicles to enter the building and park inside of it.

Topped by a dome designed by Buckminster Fuller:

Under construction:

For more info: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2017/06/el-helicoide-shopping-mall-that-became.html?m=1

Found for 2 points:

  • Walter_V_R
  • Eloy Cano
  • rob de wolff
  • Glenmorren
  • Garfield
  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Sandworm

And after the hint for 1:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • gscrp
  • Paul Voestermans
  • BC11

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