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Posts Tagged ‘skiing

“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”*…




The Chacaltaya Ski Resort was once the only ski resort in Bolivia. The popular resort also had the honor of being both the highest ski resort in the world and home to the world’s highest restaurant. But when the mountain’s glacier melted, it was all but abandoned.

The ski resort was opened in the late-1930s, and soon middle- and upper-class residents of nearby La Paz were flocking to its slopes. For seven or eight months of the year, people came to ski and go sledding down the Chacaltaya Glacier, at least until the cold and extreme altitude made them return to lower ground.

At 17,519 feet above sea level, the Chacaltaya Ski Resort was higher than the North Base Camp of Mount Everest. For decades it held the record as the world’s highest ski resort, and the resort’s restaurant is still recognized by Guinness as the highest restaurant in the world.

But in the 1990s, scientists at the Mount Chacaltaya Laboratory began to make some stark predictions. By 2015, they warned, the Chacaltaya Glacier would be gone. As it turned out, they were being optimistic. By 2009, the 18,000-year-old glacier was completely gone…

The sad story in full– and more photos– at “Abandoned Chacaltaya Ski Resort.”

* lyrics by Sammy Cahn; music by Jule Styne– written in 1945, in Hollywood, California  as Cahn and Styne imagined cooler conditions during a heat wave


As we try to beat the heat, we might recall that it was on this date in 1613 that the Globe Theater in London, built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, was destroyed by fire.  The venue went up in flames during a performance of Henry VIII; a theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching.  The theater was rebuilt the following year.

The Globe was the initial stage for most of Shakespeare’s plays, but for other playwrights as well.  Indeed, the first performance for which a firm record remains was Ben Jonson’s Every Man out of His Humour—with its first scene welcoming the “gracious and kind spectators”—at the end of 1599.


The second Globe, preliminary sketch (c. 1638) for Hollar’s 1647 Long View of London



Written by LW

June 29, 2019 at 1:01 am

This explains everything…


See several confirmed prior identities (Charlemagne, Mounet) at Keanu Reeves is Immortal.


As we stock up on garlic, we might recall that it was on this date in 1922 that Ralph Samuelson invented water skiing.  18 at the time, Samuelson had already mastered aquaplaning (riding on a board while being pulled by a powerboat), but wanted a summer equivalent of snow skiing.  He had unsuccessfully tried barrel staves and snow skis before succeeding with 8 foot long pine boards, the front tip of which he bent up (by boiling them in his mother’s kettle).  His first successful outing, on a wide portion of the Mississippi River near Lake City, Minnesota, involved starting on an aquaplane, then stepping off onto the skis.

Samuelson didn’t patent his invention, nor was his work sufficiently publicized at the time to prevent U.S. Patent 1,559,390 for water skis from being subsequently issued, on October 27, 1925, to prolific inventor Fred Waller, who marketed his product as “Dolphin Akwa-Skees.”  (Waller also invented Cinerama, which he used to publicize his skis…)  Still, Samuelson, who became a turkey farmer, was a guest of honor at a water skiing 50th anniversary in 1972, and was inducted into the Water Ski Hall of Fame in 1977. His slightly-modified second pair (the first pair broke) still exists, and are on display at the Lake City Chamber of Commerce.




Written by LW

July 31, 2013 at 1:01 am

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