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Standing Buddha from Gandhara, Tokyo

The Standing Buddha of the Tokyo National Museum is a remarkable example of Greco-Buddhist statuary. Comparable ones can be found in the Guimet Museum in France, in the National Museum, New Delhi besides various other museums of South Asia; the statue was excavated at Gandhara and dates to the 1st or 2nd century CE. Some of the standing Buddhas were sculpted using the specific Greek technique of making the hands and sometimes the feet in marble to increase the realistic effect, the rest of the body in another material. Alfred Charles Auguste Foucher considered Hellenistic free-standing Buddhas as "the most beautiful, the most ancient of the Buddhas", assigning them to the 1st century BCE, making them the starting point of the anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha. From another direction, Chinese historical sources and mural paintings in the Tarim Basin city of Dunhuang describe the travels of the explorer and ambassador Zhang Qian to Central Asia as far as Bactria around 130 BCE, the same murals describe the Emperor Han Wudi worshiping Buddhist statues, explaining them as "golden men brought in 120 BCE by a great Han general in his campaigns against the nomads."

Although there is no other mention of Han Wudi worshiping the Buddha in Chinese historical literature, the murals would suggest that statues of the Buddha were in existence during the 2nd century BCE, connecting them directly to the time of the Indo-Greeks. The Chinese historical chronicle Book of the Later Han describes the enquiry about Buddhism made around 67 CE by the emperor Emperor Ming, he sent an envoy to the Yuezhi in northwestern India, who brought back paintings and statues of the Buddha, confirming their existence before that date: "The Emperor, to discover the true doctrine, sent an envoy to Tianzhu to inquire about the Buddha's doctrine, after which paintings and statues appeared in the Middle Kingdom." An Indo-Chinese tradition explains that Nagasena known as the Indo-Greek King Menander's Buddhist teacher, created in 43 BCE in the city of Pataliputra a statue of the Buddha, the Emerald Buddha, brought to Thailand. The Tokyo National Museum for the statue Bussagli, Mario. L'art du Gandhara.

Paris: Librairie générale française. ISBN 2-253-13055-9

Great Black Swamp

The Great Black Swamp was a glacially fed wetland in northwest Ohio, sections of lower Michigan, extreme northeast Indiana, United States, that existed from the end of the Wisconsin glaciation until the late 19th century. Comprising extensive swamps and marshes, with some higher, drier ground interspersed, it occupied what was the southwestern part of proglacial Lake Maumee, a holocene precursor to Lake Erie; the area was about 100 miles long, covering an estimated 1,500 square miles. Drained and settled in the second half of the 19th century, it is now productive farmland. However, this development has been detrimental to the ecosystem as a result of agricultural runoff; this runoff, in turn, has contributed to frequent toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie. The land once covered by the swamp lies within the Maumee River and Portage River watersheds in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana; the boundary was determined by ancient sandy beach ridges formed on the shores of Lakes Maumee and Whittlesey, after glacial retreat several thousand years ago.

It stretched from Fort Wayne, eastward to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge near Port Clinton along the Lake Erie shore, from US 6 south to Findlay and North Star, Ohio. Near its southern edge at the southwestern corner of present-day Auglaize County, wheeled transportation was impossible during most of the year, local residents thought the rigors of travel to be unsuitable for anyone except adult men; the vast swamp was a network of forests and grasslands. In the lowest, flattest areas, prone to permanent inundation, deciduous swamp forests predominated, characterized by species of ash, elm and sycamore. In higher areas with some topographic relief and better drainage, maples, basswood and other more mesic species were dominant. On elevated beach ridges and moraines with good to excessive drainage, more xeric species oak and hickory, were dominant. Unlike other swampy areas of the Great Lakes, such as northern Minnesota, there were no conifers; the area contained non-forested wetlands marsh and wet prairies, with marshes being extensive along the Lake Erie shoreline east of Toledo.

Although much of the area to the east and north was settled in the early 19th century, the dense habitat and difficulty of travel through the swamp delayed its development by several decades. A corduroy road was constructed through the Maumee Road Lands in 1825, was overlaid with gravel in 1838. Travel in the wet season could still take days or weeks; the impassibility of the swamp was an obstacle during the so-called Toledo War. Settlement of the region was inhibited by endemic malaria; the disease was a chronic problem for residents of the region until the area was drained and former mosquito-breeding grounds were dried up. In the 1850s the states began an organized attempt to drain the swamp for agricultural use and ease of travel. Various projects were undertaken over a 40-year period. Bowling Green, Ohio resident James B. Hill expedited draining swampy areas with his Buckeye Traction Ditcher. Hill's ditching machine laid drainage tiles at a record pace; the area was drained and settled over the next three decades.

The development of railroads and a local drainage tile industry are thought to have contributed to drainage and settlement. During the second half of the 20th century, efforts were undertaken to preserve and restore portions of the swamp to its pre-settlement state. After the excessive spread of harmful algal blooms in nearby western Lake Erie returned in 2011 and every year since there has been renewed interest in restoring wetlands in the drained Black Swamp area. William J. Mitsch called for the restoration and creation of 150 sq mi of treatment wetlands in the former Black Swamp or 10% of the former wetland, as needed to reduce phosphorus inflow by 40% from the polluted Maumee River to Lake Erie; the Black Swamp Conservancy, founded in 1993, has been involved in preserving former swamplands. They protect 17,600 acres spread throughout the Northwest Ohio region. Black Swamp Arts Festival Limberlost Swamp Sampson, H. C.. "Succession in the swamp forest formation in northern Ohio". Ohio Journal of Science.

30: 340–357. Kaatz, M. R.. "The Black Swamp: A Study in Historical Geography". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 45: 1–35. Doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.1955.tb01481.x. The story of the first European settlement in 1833 in the Great Black Swamp at Lauber Hill is told in "Out of the Wilderness, History of the Central Mennonite Church," 1835-1960. O. Grieser and E. Beck, The Dean Hicks Company, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1960. "The Story of the Great Black Swamp", 1982 WBGU-PBS documentary. "Swamp Survivors", Game and Lesson Plan for 6-7th grades, Northwest Ohio Educational Technology et al. Black Swamp Bird Observatory, a nonprofit promoting bird conservation; the Black Swamp Conservancy Website, an organization dedicated to preserving the swamp. Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor Website. "Mitsch, William J. Solving Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms by restoring the Great Black Swamp in Ohio". Ecological Engineering, November 2017. "Levy, Learning to Love the Great Black Swamp", March 31, 2017, UNDARK blog.

"Restoration of historic Great Black Swamp could help save Lake Erie Henry, Toledo Blade, September 22, 2017

Atka B-24D Liberator

The Atka B-24D Liberator is a derelict bomber on Atka Island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The Consolidated B-24D Liberator was deliberately crash-landed on the island on 9 December 1942, is one of only eight surviving D-model Liberators; the aircraft, serial no. 40-2367, was built in 1941, was serving on weather reconnaissance duty when it was prevented from landing at any nearby airfields due to poor weather conditions. The only casualty of the crash landing was Brigadier General William E. Lynd, who suffered a fractured collarbone; the wreck site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, was designated as part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in 2008. List of surviving Consolidated B-24 Liberators National Register of Historic Places listings in Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska