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Maya Lin

Maya Ying Lin is an American designer and artist who works in sculpture and land art. She achieved national recognition at the age of 21 while still an undergraduate at Yale University, when her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C. was chosen in a national competition. It is considered one of the most influential memorials of the post-World War II period. Lin has designed other memorials and numerous public and private buildings, landscape design, sculpture. Although Lin's best known sculptures and architectural work are historical memorials, she honors nature through her environmentally themed works. In creating works which deal with the environment in decline, Lin aims to raise awareness for the environment for audiences in urban spaces. Maya Lin was born in Ohio, her parents had migrated to the United States from China, her father in 1948 and her mother in 1949, settled in Ohio before Maya was born. Her father, Henry Huan Lin, born in Fuzhou, was a ceramist and former dean of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts.

Her mother, Julia Chang Lin, born in Shanghai, taught literature at Ohio University. She is the niece of Lin Huiyin, an American-educated artist and poet, said to be the first female architect in modern China. Lin Juemin and Lin Yin Ming, both of whom are among the 72 martyrs of the Second Guangzhou uprising, were cousins of her grandfather. Lin Chang-min, a Hanlin of Qing dynasty and the emperor's teacher, was the father of Lin Hui-yin and great-grandfather of Maya Lin. Lin has the poet Tan Lin. Growing up, she stayed home a lot, she loved to study. When she was not studying, she took independent courses from Ohio University and spent her free time casting bronzes in the school foundry. Lin, having grown up as an Asian minority, has said that she "didn't realize" she was Chinese until in life, it was not until her 30s. In 1977, Lin graduated from Athens High School in Ohio, she graduated from Yale University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1986.

Lin has stated that environmental issues have concerned her since she was young, she dedicated much of her time at Yale University to environmental activism. Her interest in the environment stems from her upbringing in rural Ohio; the Hopewell and Adena Indian burial mounds inspired Lin from an early age. Much of her work, after her work on memorials, focuses on the relationship that people have with their environment, which she displays in earthworks and installations. "I'm much a product of the growing awareness about ecology and the environment al movement," Lin says. "I am drawn to landscape, my work is about finding a balance in the landscape, respecting nature not trying to dominate it. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is an earthwork. All of my work is about slipping things in, inserting an order or a structuring, yet making an interface so that in the end, rather than a hierarchy, there is a balance and tension between the man-made and the natural." Lin's work centers on the concept of uncovering "hidden histories" to bring attention to landscapes and environments that may otherwise be inaccessible to viewers and "deploys the concept to discuss the inextricable relationship between nature and the built environment."

Lin's focus on this relationship highlights the impact humanity has on the environment, draws attention to her concerns such as global warming, endangered bodies of water, animal extinction/endangerment. These issues are explored in what Lin calls her latest memorial, What Is Missing?. Lin sits on the Natural Resources Defense Council board of trustees, she constructs her works to have a minimal effect on the environment, utilizing recycled and sustainable materials, minimizes carbon emissions, avoids damage to the landscapes/ecosystems she works upon. In 1981, at 21 and still an undergraduate, Lin won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, beating 1,421 other competition submissions; the black cut-stone masonry wall, with the names of 58,318 fallen soldiers carved into its face, was completed in late October 1982 and dedicated in November 1982. The wall is granite and V-shaped, with one side pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Monument. Lin's conception was to create an opening or a wound in the earth to symbolize the gravity of the loss of the soldiers.

"I imagined taking a knife and cutting into the earth, opening it up, with the passage of time, that initial violence and pain would heal," she recalled. The design was very controversial for several reasons, it was an non-traditional design for a war memorial. Controversial were Lin's Asian ethnicity, her lack of professional experience; the design was supposed to "Transcend the controversy of the war by making no political statement on it, thereby separating the soldier from the war". The memorial has since become an important pilgrimage site for relatives and friends of the American military casualties in Vietnam, personal tokens and mementos are left at the wall daily in the casualties' memory. In 2007, the American Institute of Architects ranked the memorial No. 10 on their list of America's Favorite Architecture. This is one of the most visited sites on the National Mall since 2000. Lin believes that if the competition had not been "blind", with designs submitted by name instead of number, she "never would have won".

She received harassment. Prominent businessman and third party presidential candidate Ross Perot called her an "egg roll" after it

Chad Durbin

Chad Griffin Durbin, is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers of the American League, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves of the National League. Durbin attended Woodlawn High School, in Louisiana, he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals, in the 3rd round, 79th overall, of the 1996 Major League Baseball draft. Durbin‘s major league debut came in a scoreless relief appearance, for the Royals, on September 26, 1999. Durbin signed with the Tigers as a minor league free agent prior to the 2006 baseball season, he was a part of the 2006 International League champion Toledo Mud Hens, while making 3 late-season appearances with the Tigers. During 2007 spring training, Durbin was in the mix for one of the final spots in the Tigers bullpen. However, starting pitcher Kenny Rogers soon went on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, the Tigers turned to Durbin to fill his spot in the rotation.

Durbin served as a starting pitcher for several stints, before joining the bullpen. Pitching in relief, Durbin served several roles, including long setup. During a game on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball against the Atlanta Braves, Durbin had a sacrifice fly for his first career RBI, he recorded his first major league save in the same game. On December 12, 2007, Durbin was not offered a new contract by the Tigers and he became a free agent. On December 20, 2007, he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies to compete for a spot in their starting rotation. Though he lost out to Adam Eaton for a starting spot, Durbin enjoyed a strong season out of the bullpen for the eventual World Series Champions. In 2009, Durbin earned the first two postseason victories of his career, as he was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers; the latter clinched a second straight trip to the World Series for the Phillies, where they'd lose to the New York Yankees in six games.

Durbin spent one more season with the Phillies before rejoining the Indians as a free agent on March 1, 2011. Durbin signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals on February 1, 2012, he was released from Nationals after Spring Training. He was signed by the Atlanta Braves to a one-year contract. With the Braves, he posted an ERA of 3.10. On January 28, 2013, Durbin signed a one-year deal with the Phillies with a base salary of $1,100,000 and possible incentives totaling $350,000; the signing did not work out. Durbin retired on November 25, 2013. Durbin lives with his wife Crystal and sons Cade and Cavan and daughter Caris in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference, or Retrosheet

Alopi Devi Mandir

Alopi Devi Mandir is a temple situated in Alopibagh in Allahabad in state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is near to the holy Sangam, or confluence, where the rivers Ganges and the legendary Sarasvati meet. Kumbh Mela is near to this place; this temple is peculiar in that there is no statue of any deity in this temple, there is a wooden carriage or'doli', worshipped. The origin of the name, Alopi Bagh lies in the Hindu belief that after the death of his wife Sati, the grieving Lord Shiva travelled through skies with her dead body. Lord Vishnu, to relieve him from this agony, threw his Chakra at the corpse, resulting in the fall of various parts of the body at various places in India, which were sanctified by the touch of the Goddess' body parts and hence were thereby deemed holy places for pilgrimage; the last part fell at the holiest of all. However, this claim is debatable since there is only one Shakti peeth in Allahabad, Lalita Devi temple where fingers of Sati are supposed to have fallen. Another more credible version is found in oral history traditions narrated by old inhabitants of the area.

It dates back to the time when the entire region was covered by dense forests infested with dreaded dacoits. A marriage procession happened to pass through the forest. Marriage processions, in medieval times, used to be the most vulnerable targets of robbers as they used to return loaded with gold and other riches received as gifts. While deep into the jungle, the marriage party found. After killing all the men and looting the wealth the robbers turned to the'doli' or carriage of the bride; when they unveiled the carriage they found. The bride had magically disappeared; the word went around, history became legend became myth. A temple came up at the site where this incident occurred and locals started worshiping the bride as "Alopi Devi" or the'virgin goddess who had disappeared'. Alopi Devi continues to be worshiped by thousands of people living in the region who share every festival, marriage and death with their guarding deity.. Though it was always a prominent temple in the neighborhood, its reach and following has seen a significant rise since the 1990s leading to large-scale renovation of the surrounding area.

As per some historical evidences, Great Maratha Warrior Shreenath Mahadji Shinde had developed the Sangam place during his stay at Allahabad in 1772 AD. Maharani Bayzabai Scindia has done some works for renovation of Sangam ghats and temples at Allahabad