Cecilia Gimenez became a laughing stock last year when her bungled attempt to restore a 19th century painting went viral, but now it looks like she’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
The 82-year-old tried to fix the flaking fresco titled Ecce Homo by Elías García Martínez at her local church, the Santuario de Misericordia in Borja, Spain. The result was something that looked like the love child of Justin Bieber and Bigfoot.
The “restoration” became a worldwide sensation and has led to a flood of 57,000 visitors to the once-obscure church. The town, which owns the church, started charging one euro ($1.33) entry, with the money going to the upkeep of the painting and to charity. Now Borja town officials are negotiating with several companies for permission to use the image on everything from wine bottles to coffee mugs, with the artist getting 49 percent of the profits, Art Daily reports.
A spokesman for the town stated that Mrs. Gimenez will donate her portion to charity.
May I suggest she sets up a scholarship for struggling artists with actual talent?
Last week a Royal Air Maroc flight traveling from Casablanca, Morocco to Bologna, Italy was forced to divert to Barcelona when a woman aboard the flight began to give birth. And as it turns out, when a baby decides to come into the world, it could care less if the tray tables are stowed and the seats are in an upright position. The baby was born just before landing.
Babies aren’t born on planes very often, but it does happen. Last year a Delta flight attendant helped deliver a baby boy en route from Atlanta to Africa (she and the doctor used a pair of scissors sterilized in vodka) and when a boy was born aboard an Emirates flight, he was named after the airline. And it should come as no shock at all, that on Virgin Atlantic you might just get treated to a bed of pillows. Richard Branson likes to keep his passengers feeling good after all.
So what happens when you give birth mid-air?
Beyond a likely emergency landing – because although giving birth on a plane sounds exotic, it’s good to get medical treatment – there’s the question of citizenship. According to the United Nations, a child born mid-flight is considered to have been born in the country that the airline is registered, but that doesn’t mean citizenship issues don’t arise.
But more importantly than citizenship, will your child get to travel free for life? That’s a common myth, and although certain babies have received such rewards, it’s not a given. In other words, don’t be boarding planes in the hopes that you’ll score a lifetime of expense free air travel for your child.
Why do women end up giving birth on airplanes?
After 36 weeks, women are encouraged not to fly, but obviously it depends on circumstances and doctor approval. Although you might think that for safety reasons airlines would have a bit more control over letting pregnant woman board airplanes, at the end of the day the rules are mostly based on honesty, and even if airline personnel think a woman is too pregnant to board, there’s not much that they can do. Some women go into early labor, and once mid-air there’s not a whole lot else to do but hope that there’s a doctor or nurse aboard.
Investigators in Spain are saying the driver of the train that derailed last Wednesday, killing 79 people, was using his cell phone at the time of the accident. It has also become clear that the train was going 94 mph on a sharp bend of track where the speed limit was only 49 mph. It doesn’t matter if a driver is operating a train, car, tour bus, airplane, tug boat or bicycle — I think we can all agree he or she should be giving their undivided attention. In this instance, it appears the driver received a call on his work phone to take direction on an approach to the train’s final destination, and it seems he was also consulting a paper document. It’s still unclear whether a computer failure is partly to blame for the accident, especially since the brakes should have been applied 2.5 miles before the train hit the dangerous curve. Either way, the train company should have had procedures that would have prevented this from happening.
CNN and other news networks have been airing dramatic clips of the train crash in Spain that killed 80 people on Wednesday over and over again this week. And if it weren’t for the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the coverage might be even more intense. We’ll learn more about the cause of the crash in the weeks and months to come as the investigation unfolds, but based on what we know now, how will the crash impact the public’s perception of train travel safety?
According to press reports, the train driver, Francisco José Garzón Amo, now reportedly in police custody, was driving twice as fast as he should have been on the section of track where the crash occurred. He posted messages on Facebook last year boasting about driving trains some 200 kilometers per hour and reportedly told rescue workers, ‘I’ve f***ed it up. I want to die.” All this points to the conclusion that this is a case of driver error rather than a structural issue with Spain’s high-speed trains. And statistics indicate that Spain’s rail safety record is better than the European average. But will these facts be enough to reassure nervous travelers?Train travel is my favorite mode of transport. For me, a day spent on a pleasant train ride is infinitely more pleasant than a day spent on an airplane or a bus. I’m traveling to Spain over the Labor Day weekend, and just as the crash transpired on Wednesday, I was actually looking into schedules and tickets for a planned train trip from Barcelona to San Sebastian. But I have to admit; watching the footage of the train crash scared the hell out of me and I have yet to buy the ticket, though I probably will.
There is a risk every time you attempt to go anywhere- by car, foot, boat, train, plane, or donkey. Crashes will happen but it’s somewhat rare to see such dramatic footage like this one. I think the crash will have only a short-term negative effect on the rail industry because most travelers are aware of the risks and the fact that all pilots and drivers can make mistakes.
But let’s hope that something positive comes from this disaster so that something like this never happens again. Spain has invested heavily in developing its high-speed train network, but now it needs to implement a system where drivers are being monitored more closely. Authorities can’t track every comment a driver makes on Facebook, but surely there is a way to flag drivers who have been guilty of driving too fast and removing them before they have a chance to cause harm.
A train carrying more than 200 hundred passengers crashed outside of the northern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela Wednesday evening.
Reuters reports that at least 77 people are dead and 131 have been injured.
The government said it was working on the assumption the derailment, which occurred on the eve of the city’s main religious festival, was an accident.
Sabotage or attack was unlikely to be involved, an official source said, though the devastation will have stirred memories of a train bombing in Madrid in 2004, carried out by Islamist extremists, that killed 191 people.