Comic books have been a staple of American pop culture for the better part of 90 years. The origin story of comics as we know them, however, is much more complicated. In the 1950s, a moral panic swept across the country — one in which parents and children burned comic books by the bushel in public gatherings — and led to the near destruction of the comic book industry. Comics were big business even by the 1940s. They reached millions of readers each week. And the superheroes created then have now become billion-dollar franchises, showcased in blockbuster films and massive conventions such as Comic-Con. Events in 1954, however, almost changed that. Laws were passed. Careers were ruined. And comics fell under a strict censorship regime that lasted for decades to come.
Italy’s Carrara marble quarries are a source of controversy, pitting nature against economic gain. Environmentalists warn of overexploitation, while others defend the jobs these Tuscan quarries provide.
Franco Barratini quarries marble blocks that sell for €4,000 per ton. The amount of marble that was once quarried in a month can now be extracted in just three days, and environmentalists are alarmed at the consequences. Marble dust leaks into groundwater, turns rivers milky-white and hangs in the air. The effects of this are still not completely clear.
Sandro Manfredi is fighting what he sees as severe overexploitation in the marble quarries of Tuscany’s Apuan Alps. In 2018, he filed a complaint against an illegal marble quarry, and afterwards was nearly killed when someone tampered with his car. Carrara has experienced four floods in the last nine years. Environmentalists blame marble quarrying, which has increased dramatically thanks to rapidly evolving extraction techniques, upsetting the region’s hydrogeological balance.
The Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares in the Central Region of Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden.
A family of saddleback clownfish have found an excellent home, however, they need a place to lay their eggs.
Amphiprion polymnus, also known as the saddleback clownfish or yellowfin anemonefish, is a black and white species of anemonefish with a distinctive saddle. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone.
Ocho Rios is a port town on the north coast of Jamaica. A former fishing village, it’s now a resort with a cruise ship harbor and a busy bay beach that’s lined with hotels. The surrounding parish of Saint Ann is home to rainforest, rivers and waterfalls. Dunn’s River Falls is a terraced, 180m mountain waterfall with lagoon pools, surrounded by trees.
Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated hourly show. Completed in 1402, pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with statues of Catholic saints.
The weekend’s top discussion topics with Georgina Godwin. Featuring Charles Hecker with the newspapers, Monocle editor in chief Andrew Tuck’s column and what we’ve learned this week.