Thrasher Magazine has selected Atlanta native and resident Grant Taylor to win its prestigious Skater of the Year award, widely considered one of the skateboarding community's top honors. Congrats are in order. Dan Pensyl, one of the his Nike teammates, told ESPN: "Anytime you flip through a mag not really paying attention and see something insane, nine out of 10 times it's Grant."
Here's Taylor's Thrasher award segment, which features a few local skate spots, including Murder Kroger.
Taylor's father, Thomas, owns Stratosphere Skate Shop in Little Five Points and is a fixture of the local skateboarding scene. The father also played a key role in helping push for the Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park along the Atlanta Beltline.
After walking through a massive split boulder, visitors to the four-acre memorial site located on the Tidal Basin will encounter a 30-foot centerpiece statue of the Atlanta native carved by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin. Some of the civil rights icon's most famous quotes are inscribed on a crescent-shaped wall surrounding the sculpture. Cherry blossom trees which will bloom brilliant pink-and-white flowers each spring surround the $120 million memorial. According to the foundation tasked with planning the site, the design bested more than 900 submissions from architects, landscape architects, students, sculptors, and professors around the world.
The memorial's official unveiling, which will include remarks from President Barack Obama, will take place next Monday. After the jump, a "virtual tour" of the MLK Memorial.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, a historic, months-long civil rights campaign launched by black and white people that helped end segregated public transportation. Among the participants: Now-Congressman John Lewis, who was attacked during the tour's stop in Rock Hill, S.C. Lewis later forgave his attacker. (If you're near a TV, tune in to Oprah, where the longtime Atlanta Democrat is scheduled to appear.)
Angela Tuck has a nice write-up that includes interviews with some of the participants here. It's well worth your time to check out the Digital Library of Georgia's very thorough blog post — add 'em to your RSS feed or on Twitter while you're there — that includes archival footage.
The May 16 episode of PBS' "American Experience" focuses on the effort. Here's a promo.
Huzzahs are in order for Emory University, which last week named a National Bicycle Friendly Campus by the League of American Bicyclists. The school was one of two colleges in the southeast to earn the designation.
“This award demonstrates, on a national level, that Emory is committed to supporting cycling as a healthy transportation choice,” Jamie Smith, director of Bike Emory, said in a statement.
Some Bike Emory programs that helped the university earn the honor, via the Emory Report:
• Discounts for students, faculty and staff on new bicycles and accessories;
• Pre-ordering discounts on new bikes including a free helmet, lock, delivery and 90 days of free maintenance;
• Twice-weekly, on-campus mobile repair center; and
• Parking pass and Guaranteed Ride Home program eligibility.
We often hear whispers about other interesting programs Bike Emory's exploring that could boost cycling. Since we are upstanding and noble journalists, we dare not repeat these rumors here. But they sound cool.
Google has awarded Georgia Tech $1 million to study and develop tools to help people detect if their Internet access is being slowed down — or blocked — by a service provider. Or hell, even the government.
The two-year unrestricted award (with a third-year option for an additional $500,000) will fund a range of activities that together are intended to make Internet access more transparent for the billions of network subscribers around the globe. At the end of the project, the team hopes to provide a suite of web-based, Internet-scale measurement tools that any user around the world could access for free. With the help of these tools, users could determine whether their ISPs are providing the kind of service customers are paying for, and whether the data they send and receive over their network connections is being tampered with by governments and/or ISPs.
"Community collaboration is a big part of this project," said Wenke Lee, Professor in the School of Computer Science and a principal investigator on the grant. "Ultimately we hope this project will help create a 'transparency ecosystem,' where more and more users will take advantage of the measurement tools, which in turn will improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of our analysis.
"For example," Lee continued, "say something happens again like what happened in Egypt recently, when the Internet was essentially shut down. If we have a community of Internet user-participants in that country, we will know instantly when a government or ISP starts to block traffic, tamper with search results, even alter web-based information in order to spread propaganda." [...]
According to [Assistant Professor Nick] Feamster, some 60 nations (including the United States) censor some access to information on the Internet. Moreover, the total number of worldwide users (currently estimated at 1.9 billion) is expected to double within the next decade. Finally, at least 4.5 billion people subscribe to cellular networks, accessing through their mobile devices everything from online banking services to streaming music and video. Both "traditional" Internet connections and cellular-based networks will be covered by the tools the researchers hope to create.
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