1) Below is a picture of the two mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, created for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.  I think the guys who thought them up must have had a few too many pints.

 

The guy below is a performer in the Indonesia Festival of Topeng.  He looks to me like a giant, very scary beaver. 

 

2) Beginning Memorial Day, May 31st, The National Endowment of The Arts, in collaboration with Blue Stars Families, will initiate the Blue Star Museums program, where active duty military personnel and their families get free admission to over 600 participating museums.

We can’t do enough for these soldiers, and their families, who are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The National Endowment of the Arts site has an interactive map of the US showing the participating museums :

http://www.nea.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index.php

3) A collaboration between the Eden Project, homeless people and prisoners is creating the biggest garden ever at Chelsea, England, Flower Show.

For both the homeless and prisoners to turn their lives around it is vital that they are able send time on positive actives, any kind of work, and not negative ones, including sitting around doing nothing but feeling inadequate.

A Prisoner with the Growing For Life project    

Article in Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/may/18/eden-homeless-chelsea-flower-show

“The appeal of horticulture for me is that at the beginning you have a flat canvas, a barren bit of land that no one has got any interest in, but you get your heads together and create something,” says Lee Emery.

Emery, a 28-year-old homeless man, is explaining the appeal of getting involved in the Eden Project’s Place of Change garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. He is a resident at Look Ahead Housing and Care, a supported housing scheme, and is one of 45 homeless organisations that are contributing to Eden’s second year at the world-famous flower show in SW3.”

“In addition to the 400 homeless people taking part in the project, 100 prisoners from eight jails are also involved, including prisoners who attend an Eden Growing for Life project at Occombe farm in Devon.”

Eden’s garden designer Paul Stone said, ”

“Having the opportunity to create new life is something we all aspire to, and that’s what you do with horticulture.

It’s that god-like opportunity to plant a seed and see it grow into something nothing like that seed,” he says. “It’s also the opportunity to create a piece of art. And to enjoy the feeling of doing a good day’s work – and these guys don’t get that opportunity, if people won’t employ them.”

This year, 95% of the homeless participants will gain a qualification or certificate in subjects such as garden design, woodwork and volunteering, or in media skills such as video filming or web publishing by producing content for the garden’s blog and internet site.”

4) I’ll leave you with some foot taping dancing music. A live performance by LCD Sound System – “I Can Change”

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