Today, the first thing you see when you drive into the small town of McFarland, California, is a welcome poster. "Home of the State Champions, it says proudly. Written across the bottom are the names of the members of the running teams that have brought McFarland nine state championships over the past twenty years. Today, this little farming town is the "home of champions", but things weren't always like this.
It all began with a group of seven young men, who were McFarland High Schools first running team. They were called "cloud runners" because it looked like they were floating on a brown cloud of dust as they carved paths through the surrounding fields.
They weren't a very good team. But the turning point came one hot summer afternoon when the young men were doing hill practice. As there were no hills in McFarland, their coach, Jim White, made them run up and down large piles of nut shells covered in white plastic sheets.
"Enough!" one of the young men cried. The sound of breaking shells could be heard as he beat his fists on the sheet. The plastic tore and a river of nut shells poured out. "Do you know what these are, Mr. White? They're almond shells. Do you know where they come from? My family has been working on farms picking almonds for forty years.
You and your family, living in your big comfortable home, eat these without giving a single thought to where they came from. And now you are making us run on them! I've had enough!"
"We're losers, Mr. White, not winners," another young man continued his face wet with tears and sweat. "Nothing has changed here for forty years and nothing's ever going to change! Running is for rich kids in private schools in the big city, not for us poor farm boys. We can't even afford real shoes for running. We're 'pickers'. I'm going home!"
Something in Jim White's heart changed that day. He went into the fields and worked with the 'pickers'. He bought running shoes for the boys. He spent evenings having dinner with the boys' families. His wife baked and sold cookies to raise money. One small act of kindness led to another. Other families began to take notice, and slowly, the entire town came to support Mr. White as he helped these young men change from farm workers to champions.
These beautiful reading spots are best enjoyed with no one for company but the inhabitants of your favorite fictional worlds ...
---By Anna Walker Women's Library, Glasgow
Rows of books on women's issues throughout history line the shelves of the only official museum in the UK dedicated to women's lives, histories and achievements and a number of events across the year transform this library into a living social hub, with creative writing classes, performance groups, craft sessions and more.
The library's key aim is to support women, with services teaching literacy, calculations, and handling a range of issues including poverty, and surviving violence.
Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen
The outside of the modern facility is a huge glass structure - made of 760 glass panels and 2,200 tons of steel.
The Sir Duncan Rice is also conscious of its carbon footprint; designed to collect rainwater which is reused to flush its toilets, harvesting power through solar cells on the roof and using timers to control the use of its fluorescent lighting.
John Ryland, Manchester
Created over 100 years ago as a gift to Manchester and its people, the John Ryland welcomes over 250,000 visitors through its doors each year. The project began as a honor by Enriqueta Ryland to her late husband John Ryland, and has grown to become the third largest academic library in the UK, home to over a million manuscripts (手稿)
Modern extensions to the building added since the 2000s create a breath-taking collision (冲突) of historic and modem architecture. Regular events planned with the whole family in mind make this library one to visit time and time again.
Visit library.manchesterac. uk/rylmds
Wellcome Reading Room, Lo
Spend an afternoon studying in the Reading Room of London's Wellcome Museum and you may just find yourself enjoying a side of people-watching with your literature. With drawing classes, pop-up exhibitions and artistic displays accompanying rows of educational books, it's an enjoyable spot to visit, revisit and declare your number one study spot. The impressive stairway and desks are allowing you the perfect spot to pause and reflect, whatever your library mission.
My doctor took me for a walk around the farm where she lives. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and discouraged by anxiety and depression.
The place was full of life. There were insects, horses, rabbits and a cat. She told me to focus on my body in the environment.
When I was ill I tended to retreat into my mind and disconnect from here and now. So, when I met a horse named Fira, I expected nothing.
As I got closer to Fira, she nuzzled (用鼻子爱抚)her nose into my chest, putting a gentle pressure over my heart. Something happened inside me: I felt as if I had reached a wellspring (源泉)of past hurts, fears and failings. I began to melt emotionally.
I patted Fira's nose and breathed in her smell. I found I didn't have to concentrate on feeling better; Fira helped me feel loved and safe.
I worked with Fira often, learning basic communication and leading methods to work together with her. Initially, I wasn't sure exactly what one would do with a horse except riding it. But I knew that Fira had touched me in an uncommon way and had made me feel better. She connected with me by responding to my emotional state and reflecting it back to me in an open, affectionate way.
In my meetings with Fira, I found that I lost my usual self-consciousness and I would focus entirely on communicating.
I learned to live in the present, to focus on what was happening this day, in this moment, in this place. I learned to forget the past, with all its hurts. I learned to forget the future, which hasn't happened yet. When you stand beside a horse, you exist completely in the moment.
"With Fira by my side, I saw into a life in which trust comes first, and compassion follows.
I found a deep peace in leading her along a path, by using my own power of intention to indicate whether to start, stop, turn left or turn right. I felt an inner quiet and even joy. My work with this horse was part of a journey out of a very dark night in my soul.
Tens of thousands of drone (无人机)owners will have to register their devices for the first time under regulations designed to safeguard privacy.
Rules introduced yesterday require all drones that are fitted with cameras to be logged with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Anyone who fails to do so faces being taken to court and fined up to £1,000. Drones heavier than 250g already have to be registered with the CAA, which costs £9 and must be renewed annually, but the new measures extend this requirement to all devices, including the lightweight models that are used by hobbyist pilots.
The move comes after sharp rise in the number of drones bought by enthusiasts or those operating them for commercial reasons, such as to inspect infrastructure or for photography and filming.
However, the rise has prompted concerns over privacy, with fears that drones are being used to spy on private residences and other buildings. It has also led to an increase in the number of near-misses between drones and other aircraft, including commercial passenger jets. The latest figures show 531 near-misses involving drones were logged in the past decade, including 125 recorded in 2019.
By law drones are supposed to be operated within an operator's line of sight. They have to remain below an altitude of 400ft to avoid interfering with aircraft and flown at least 164ft away from people and buildings. The government has already toughened up regulations in recent years. This includes requiring all operators to pass an online test before being allowed to fly devices. Other changes to the regulations include allowing drones that weigh up to 25kg to be operated, compared with a previous limit of 20kg.
Devices will also fall into three new categories of risk --high, medium and low -- depending on how they will be flown. Low-risk drones, including those typically used by hobbyists, will have operational limitations but will not need authorisation （授权）for flights. Authorisation is needed for larger medium-risk and high-risk drone flights, which are typically carried out in more complex environments, including those beyond the operator's line of sight, which is banned under normal circumstances.
Christian Struwe, the director of public policy, said of the new regulation: "It simplifies different processes and allows customers to travel from country to country without having to worry about different rules in different foreign locations"
These days, it's not unusual to see middle-aged men collecting Star Wars action figures, office workers wearing Hello Kitty accessories, or celebrities like David Beckham playing with Lego bricks. It's becoming more and more common to see adults taking an interest in toys, comic books and the activities that are traditionally associated with children. This phenomenon has given rise to a new word: kidult.
What lies behind the phenomenon? One is about adults' nostalgia (怀旧之情) for the carefree days of childhood, and this is especially true with today's fast-paced, stressful lifestyles. Another is about a societal change in recent decades where people are starting families later. As a result, they have more time and money to spend on themselves. Some adults could only window-shop for their dream toys when they were kids, but now they can afford that radio controlled car or high-priced doll they have always wanted.
Businesses have been quick to exploit the kidult trend, and the number of toy stores that target adults has risen. Companies are repackaging products from past decades and also bringing out new ones for adults. Lego, for example, has brought out an architectural series featuring landmarks from around the world.
Society traditionally disapproves of adults who refuse to put aside childhood interests, viewing the refusal as a sign of social immaturity and irresponsibility. Those who agree with this view sometimes claim that kidults are suffering from the pop-psychology concept known as Peter Pan Syndrome, an anomaly (异常) that people remain emotionally at the level of teenagers. On a grander scale, these kidult opponents (对手) argue that such delayed adulthood causes couples to marry later and have fewer children. This in turn can lead to shrinking national economies, for there needs to be a generational replenishment (补充) of the workforce.
From the standpoint of kidults, though, this phenomenon is seen as nothing but harmless fun. Kidults insist that having youthful interests keeps them young, happy and creative, and their refusal to conform to society's acceptable tastes shows independent thinking. Besides, they argue that being part of the social trend of delayed adulthood is not purely a personal choice. The real causes include expensive housing, increased educational requirements for employment and poor work opportunities.
Whether the kidult phenomenon will continue to grow or prove to be a passing trend is anyone's guess. As the debate about it continues, remember that there is nothing wrong with being young at heart.