CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Monday, November 30, 2015

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY: Photos embody rural life

 

 

 

 

 

Incredible: America's record-breaking big freeze has sparked an array of dramatic, terrifying and often amusing scenes - and the bitter cold is not over just yet. Above, this pressure-fed fountain in Letchworth State Park, New York, was transformed into a five-story-high 'ice volcano' this week following days of sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow. Amazingly, water continues to spout out of its top

 

Incredible: America's record-breaking big freeze has sparked an array of dramatic, terrifying and often amusing scenes - and the bitter cold is not over just yet. Above, this pressure-fed fountain in Letchworth State Park, New York, was transformed into a five-story-high 'ice volcano' this week following days of sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow. Amazingly, water continues to spout out of its top

Stunning: This week, many parts of the eastern US have seen record-breaking low temperatures. Above, the frigid conditions have frozen parts of the Niagara Falls. The waterfalls have been transformed into extraordinary crystalline spectacles, featuring mist-encased trees and lampposts that appear as if they have been sculpted from snow. Tourists have deemed the view 'stunning' and a 'must-see spectacle'

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Stunning: This week, many parts of the eastern US have seen record-breaking low temperatures. Above, the frigid conditions have frozen parts of the Niagara Falls. The waterfalls have been transformed into extraordinary crystalline spectacles, featuring mist-encased trees and lampposts that appear as if they have been sculpted from snow. Tourists have deemed the view 'stunning' and a 'must-see spectacle'

Tourists: 'I come here every winter but this is the most magnificent,' said Heather Ferrara of nearby Tonawanda, who visited the Falls with her husband amid minus seven temperatures. Above, tourists take pictures of The American Falls (rear) from the Niagara Falls on Friday

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Tourists: 'I come here every winter but this is the most magnificent,' said Heather Ferrara of nearby Tonawanda, who visited the Falls with her husband amid minus seven temperatures. Above, tourists take pictures of The American Falls (rear) from the Niagara Falls on Friday

 

Tourists view the waterfalls and river at Canada's Niagara Falls Tree branches at the Horseshoe Falls are frozen over

Icy: Tourists view the waterfalls and river at Canada's Niagara Falls (left), while tree branches at the Horseshoe Falls are frozen over (right)

An amusing sight: In this photo - which proves just how cold it has been across large swathes of the US this winter - an icy imprint of a Jeep's bumper remains standing in a parking lot in Greenville, North Carolina - long after the vehicle was driven away by its owner

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An amusing sight: In this photo - which proves just how cold it has been across large swathes of the US this winter - an icy imprint of a Jeep's bumper remains standing in a parking lot in Greenville, North Carolina - long after the vehicle was driven away by its owner

Imprint: The sheet of ice was captured outside Vidant Medical Center  on Tuesday afternoon. According to WITN.com, the ice sculpture might have happened when 'the Jeep owner left their vehicle running, warming up the engine' then backed out of the parking space

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Imprint: The sheet of ice was captured outside Vidant Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. According to WITN.com, the ice sculpture might have happened when 'the Jeep owner left their vehicle running, warming up the engine' then backed out of the parking space

Risky leap: Other striking pictures that the sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice have produced include thrill-seekers 'diving' into snow piles from windows and balconies (pictured) as part of what has been dubbed the 'Boston Blizzard Challenge'. The challenge has been condemned by the city's Mayor, Martin Walsh, who said in a press conference: 'This isn’t Loon Mountain. This is the city of Boston'

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Risky leap: Other striking pictures that the sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice have produced include thrill-seekers 'diving' into snow piles from windows and balconies (pictured) as part of what has been dubbed the 'Boston Blizzard Challenge'. The challenge has been condemned by the city's Mayor, Martin Walsh, who said in a press conference: 'This isn’t Loon Mountain. This is the city of Boston'

Snow removal: With nearly 100 inches of snow having covered the Boston area over the winter season, snow removal efforts on the MIT campus engineered this new five-story-high mountain of snow (pictured). Volunteers were paid to remove snow elsewhere in the city

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Snow removal: With nearly 100 inches of snow having covered the Boston area over the winter season, snow removal efforts on the MIT campus engineered this new five-story-high mountain of snow (pictured). Volunteers were paid to remove snow elsewhere in the city

 

The band of air could plunge parts of the country into deep freezes that haven't been felt since the mid-1990s, the National Weather Service said. Up to six inches of snow - adding to previous snowfall - could be seen in eastern Ohio Valley and upstate New York, according to the Weather Channel.

Bruce Sullivan, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said: 'Higher amounts [of snow] over the next two days will probably be across southern Indiana and Illinois and eastward through Ohio into western Pennsylvania. That's where it looks like the jackpot will be.'

This week, many parts of the eastern US have seen record-breaking low temperatures. On Friday morning, at least 72 records were recorded, from Marquette, Michigan (-26 degrees) to Miami (42 degrees). Lynchburg, Virginia, even saw a bone-chilling minus 11 degrees - a new all-time record low.

The sub-zero temperatures have resulted in striking scenes, including a fountain in a New York state park that was transformed into a 50-foot 'ice volcano', thrill-seekers 'diving' from windows into snow piles as part of the so-called 'Boston Blizzard Challenge' and a frozen-over Hudson River.

The 'Siberian Express' that has been sweeping across the nation has led to the deaths of at least 20 people from hypothermia, the Weather Channel reported. The toll includes nine people in Tennessee, six in Pennsylvania, two in Illinois and one in each of the states: Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Meanwhile, residents in Toronto, Canada, are still mourning the death of three-year-old Elijah Marsh, who wandered out into the extreme cold dressed in no clothes and succumbed to the freezing conditions. More than $100,000 has already been raised in donations for the toddler's funeral.

'Ice castle': In this incredible photo, thousands of icicles blanket a house in Philadelphia, western Pennsylvania, after firefighters tackled an overnight blaze with water hoses. The water froze due to a combination of strong winds and bone-chilling temperatures in the city

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'Ice castle': In this incredible photo, thousands of icicles blanket a house in Philadelphia, western Pennsylvania, after firefighters tackled an overnight blaze with water hoses. The water froze due to a combination of strong winds and bone-chilling temperatures in the city

At work: The blaze, which occurred at Locust Medical Center at 52nd and Locust streets, led to the building being dubbed an 'ice castle'

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At work: The blaze, which occurred at Locust Medical Center at 52nd and Locust streets, led to the building being dubbed an 'ice castle'

Bone-chilling weather: A Philadelphia firefighter, covered in small pieces of ice, is pictured at the scene of the overnight blaze on Monday

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Bone-chilling weather: A Philadelphia firefighter, covered in small pieces of ice, is pictured at the scene of the overnight blaze on Monday

Frozen over: The Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain in Bryant Park in New York remained frozen on Friday amid the 'Siberian Express'

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Frozen over: The Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain in Bryant Park in New York remained frozen on Friday amid the 'Siberian Express'

Having a joke: This sign, reading: 'Missing: My Body. Last seen: 1/28/15', was erected in Wilmington, Massachusetts, by a local this week

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Having a joke: This sign, reading: 'Missing: My Body. Last seen: 1/28/15', was erected in Wilmington, Massachusetts, by a local this week

 

Steve Wintermeier tees off from the top of a snow mound at the corner of Boylston Street and Dartmouth Street in downtown Boston last Sunday A sign tires to encourage visitors to think optimistically at the Thistle & Shamrock store  in Cambridge

Snowy: Steve Wintermeier tees off from the top of a snow mound (left) at the corner of Boylston Street and Dartmouth Street in downtown Boston last Sunday, while a sign tires to encourage visitors to think optimistically at the Thistle & Shamrock store in Cambridge (right)

 

'This week ranks among the most intense arctic outbreaks so far in the 21st century for the eastern U.S., and it is certainly one of the most impressively cold air masses we've seen this late in the winter season, coming only a month before the spring equinox,' senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen said.

According to the NOAA and the National Weather Service, at least 500 daily record low temperatures have been broken since Sunday. And more places across the Northeast are expected to see record-breaking cold on Saturday morning as Winter Storm Pandora sweeps across the region.

The previous weather system was called a 'Siberian Express' because the winds came in from Russia and traveled over the Arctic Circle, pushing frigid air into Canada and the United States. On Friday, Washington's Reagan National Airport saw a record low temperature of just six degrees.

This beat a 119-year-old record low for the day of eight degrees. Meanwhile, New York City's Central Park plummeted to two degrees, breaking the 1950 record of seven degrees. In western Pennsylvania, temperatures dipped to minus 18 in New Castle and six below zero in Pittsburgh - both records.

Peculiar sight: A man in a furry white suit jogs through the snow in Boston after a winter storm dumped 16.5 inches of snow on the city

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Peculiar sight: A man in a furry white suit jogs through the snow in Boston after a winter storm dumped 16.5 inches of snow on the city

Keeping warm: This photo, posted online, shows Boston residents sitting beside in a fire in a hole they carved out of a huge snow pile

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Keeping warm: This photo, posted online, shows Boston residents sitting beside in a fire in a hole they carved out of a huge snow pile

 

Blocked in: According to the NOAA, at least 500 daily record low temperatures have been broken since Sunday. And more places across the Northeast are expected to see record-breaking cold on Saturday morning. Above, snow blocks doorways on Plum Island, New York

Picturesque: Snow and ice covers Central Park, which plummeted to two degrees on Friday, breaking the 1950 record of seven degrees

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Picturesque: Snow and ice covers Central Park, which plummeted to two degrees on Friday, breaking the 1950 record of seven degrees

 

   

The rolling Montana landscape creates a tranquil backdrop to this series of images exploring rural life in Paradise Valley, a small rural community just north of Yellowstone National Park. It portray the 'salt of the earth' people who live there alongside the ranch animals and  spectacular Big Sky scenery.

A rancher takes a drag on a cigarette with the rolling Montana landscape behind him

A rancher takes a drag on a cigarette with the rolling Montana landscape behind him

The sun streams across a corral as a wrangler leads his horse towards a barn

 

The sun streams across a corral as a wrangler leads his horse towards a barn

A rusting Montana license plate, that shows the outline of the state, is nailed to a wall

 

A rusting Montana license plate, that shows the outline of the state, is nailed to a wall

 

Rows of stirrups hang against the wooden side of a Montana barn

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Rows of stirrups hang against the wooden side of a Montana barn

Horses gallop towards Jason Lindsey's camera as the photographer captures the wild beauty of Montana

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Horses gallop towards Jason Lindsey's camera as the photographer captures the wild beauty of Montana

The piercing blue eyes of a cowboy stand out in this portrait taken by Lindsey

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The piercing blue eyes of a cowboy stand out in this portrait taken by Lindsey

Lindsey was captivated by the people living in Montana's Paradise Valley

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Lindsey was captivated by the people living in Montana's Paradise Valley

Lindsey says his affection for 'salt of the earth' people comes from growing up in a small farm town

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Lindsey says his affection for 'salt of the earth' people comes from growing up in a small farm town

A Montana rancher, pitchfork in hand, takes a break from his work

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A Montana rancher, pitchfork in hand, takes a break from his work

Two wranglers gallop across a ridge under Montana's famed big sky

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Two wranglers gallop across a ridge under Montana's famed big sky

A working dog looks poised and alert as it watches the world pass by on the farm

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A working dog looks poised and alert as it watches the world pass by on the farm

Lindsey's portraits capture rural life in Paradise Valley

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Lindsey's portraits capture rural life in Paradise Valley

A rancher drinks from a shot glass as he takes a rest from a long day on the farm

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A rancher drinks from a shot glass as he takes a rest from a long day on the farm

A resident of Paradise Valley smiles broadly as Lindsey takes his photograph

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A resident of Paradise Valley smiles broadly as Lindsey takes his photograph

A cowboy saddles up his horse in the low light of the Montana sky

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A cowboy saddles up his horse in the low light of the Montana sky

The sun warms the back of a row of horses as they stand in a corral

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The sun warms the back of a row of horses as they stand in a corral

The warm glow of lights shine in a cabin as snow settles on a tree-covered mountain

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The warm glow of lights shine in a cabin as snow settles on a tree-covered mountain

An animal skull and horse shoes hang on the outside of a farm building in Paradise Valley

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An animal skull and horse shoes hang on the outside of a farm building in Paradise Valley

The tools of a cowboy's trade hang from horse-shoe shaped hooks on a rustic wall

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The tools of a cowboy's trade hang from horse-shoe shaped hooks on a rustic wall

Lindsey's photos capture the beauty and soft light of Montana's rural regions

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Lindsey's photos capture the beauty and soft light of Montana's rural regions

License plates from Montana, Colorado and Arizona adorn a wall

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License plates from Montana, Colorado and Arizona adorn a wall

A horse grazes in a meadow as a blizzard whips around it

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A horse grazes in a meadow as a blizzard whips around it

A rancher with a snow-white mustache smiles while leaning against a wall

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A rancher with a snow-white mustache smiles while leaning against a wall

A holly wreath hangs on the door of a barn sat next to a winding mountain road

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A holly wreath hangs on the door of a barn sat next to a winding mountain road

Two women sit on their horses as the long grass of Montana's plains waves in the breeze

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Two women sit on their horses as the long grass of Montana's plains waves in the breeze

Lindsey has produced a series of compelling portraits of those living in Montana's valleys

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Lindsey has produced a series of compelling portraits of those living in Montana's valleys

Lindsey photography

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A horse gazes peacefully into the distance from its Montana meadow

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A horse gazes peacefully into the distance from its Montana meadow

Ranch hands hold their horses on a rain-soaked driveway 

Ranch hands hold their horses on a rain-soaked driveway

Antlers fixed to the outside of a building are dusted with snow as a flurry falls on Paradise Valley

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Antlers fixed to the outside of a building are dusted with snow as a flurry falls on Paradise Valley

A father from Poland has used his passion for photography to capture striking and heart-warming photos of his family. 

Sebastian Luczywo's photos embody his rural life; the photos depict innocent scenes of children playing with their charming family pets.

He is not a professional photographer, but Sebastian clearly has an ability to capture powerful still life images.

Family album: An amateur photographer and father captures his family in their rural life. This snap called 'The good and bad' shows Sebastian Luczywo's sons Jack and Christopher enjoying a wintery afternoon

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Family album: An amateur photographer and father captures his family in their rural life. This snap called 'The good and bad' shows Sebastian Luczywo's sons Jack and Christopher enjoying a wintery afternoon

Speaking about his hobby, he said: 'Photography is my passion, though I do not make money taking pictures at the moment, I do not know if I will in the future. I have been a business advisor for 15 years but I am looking for a new direction in life, I have always hoped to be a photographer.' Sebastian mainly photographs his family, including his two sons, 8-year-old Jacek and 11-year-old Krzysztof, Kaya his 15-year-old daughter and his wife Agnieszka.

Child's best friend: The father from Poland has used his passion for photography to capture striking and heart-warming photos of his family and their furry friends

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Child's best friend: The father from Poland has used his passion for photography to capture striking and heart-warming photos of his family and their furry friends

Enjoying a dip: Sebastian Luczywo's photos embody his rural life and one of his favourite subjects is his wife Agnieszka, pictured enjoying a cigarette in a makeshift bath tub in the garden

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Enjoying a dip: Sebastian Luczywo's photos embody his rural life and one of his favourite subjects is his wife Agnieszka, pictured enjoying a cigarette in a makeshift bath tub in the garden

Inspirations: Speaking about his work, he said: 'I love my wife and children. I love seeing how they change, and I like to photograph the most important events in our lives'

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Inspirations: Speaking about his work, he said: 'I love my wife and children. I love seeing how they change, and I like to photograph the most important events in our lives'

Talent: He is not a professional photographer, but Sebastian clearly has an ability to capture powerful still life images

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Talent: He is not a professional photographer, but Sebastian clearly has an ability to capture powerful still life images

True love: Speaking about his hobby, he said: 'Photography is my passion, though I do not make money taking pictures at the moment and I do not know if I will in the future'

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True love: Speaking about his hobby, he said: 'Photography is my passion, though I do not make money taking pictures at the moment and I do not know if I will in the future'

Hobby: He has been a business advisor for 15 years but is looking for a new direction in life, he says

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Hobby: He has been a business advisor for 15 years but is looking for a new direction in life, he says

He said: 'I love my wife and children. I love seeing how they change, and I like to photograph the most important events in our lives. I am happy when we do things together because it brings us closer. 

'I find the beauty of my wife very inspiring, but my kids also give me a lot of inspiration. Kaja, Christopher and Jacek are so carefree, cheerful and they have a lot of great ideas - there is no better inspiration than spending time with them,' explains Sebastian.

He lives with his family in Jelenia Gora, which is located in a valley and surrounded by picturesque mountains. 

The budding photographer explains he chose to include his pet dogs in his touching photos, as he feels they are very much a part of his family. 

Childhood innocence: Sebastian says he is happy when he, his wife and children do things together because it brings them closer Childhood innocence: Sebastian says he is happy when he, his wife and children do things together because it brings them closer      

Childhood innocence: Sebastian says he is happy when he, his wife and children do things together because it brings them closer

Unusual: His clever and mood-filled photos depict his children and pets in the countryside, often with a touch of the surreal

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Unusual: His clever and mood-filled photos depict his children and pets in the countryside, often with a touch of the surreal

Magical: The resulting images are anything but your standard family portraits and have a real magical element to them

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Magical: The resulting images are anything but your standard family portraits and have a real magical element to them

 

Man's best friend: The budding photographer explains he chose to include his pet dogs in his touching photos, as he feels they are very much a part of his family Man's best friend: The budding photographer explains he chose to include his pet dogs in his touching photos, as he feels they are very much a part of his family      

Man's best friend: The budding photographer explains he chose to include his pet dogs in his touching photos, as he feels they are very much a part of his family

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

The bright lights of the city often lure people in with promises of a better way of life.

Today, around 3.9 billion people around the world live in towns and cities, with the global urban population growing by about one million people each week.

But while urban dwellers may have better access to doctors and hospitals, there are growing concerns that city-living is severely damaging to health.

Rat race: The Paris-based International Council for Science has launched a programme that aims to understand how a city environment can be changed to improve the health of its residents

Rat race: The Paris-based International Council for Science has launched a programme that aims to understand how a city environment can be changed to improve the health of its residents

Now, scientists at the International Council for Science have launched a global programme to find out exactly how factors such as pollution, overcrowding and crime are affecting overall wellbeing.

The 'Urban Health and Wellbeing Programme' hopes to understand what makes a 'healthy urban environment', according to a report by Mark Kinver in the BBC.

'We are facing global epidemics of non-communicable diseases - heart disease, diabetes and so on - and mental health problems,' Professor Anthony Capon, director of the UN University's International Institute for Global Health, told the BBC.

Packed: The programme claims that city-dwellers have higher rates of mental illness due to stress and social isolation. Those living in cities also suffer worse from impacts from car pollution 

Packed: The programme claims that city-dwellers have higher rates of mental illness due to stress and social isolation. Those living in cities also suffer worse from impacts from car pollution

'We are also seeing the health impact of climate change, such as heat-stress in cities and changes in the distribution of infectious vector-borne diseases.'

CITIES ARE BAD FOR THE HEALTH OF NEW MOTHERS

Women who live in urban areas are more likely to develop postnatal depression than those who live in the countryside, recent research has claimed.

Women who live in large cities are three per cent more likely to develop the condition five to 14 months after giving birth.

The researchers believe this could be because city living is more stressful and is associated with less supportive communities.

Dr Simone Vigod, at Women's College Hospital, in Toronto, said: 'Living in an urban area is a marker of more stress, less support and a potentially higher risk of postpartum depression for women.

'Our study suggests we need to better target our supports and services towards women based on their geographic location to improve their outcomes and reduce their risk of postpartum depression.'

For instance, the programme claims that city-dwellers have higher rates of mental illness due to stress and social isolation.

It is also looking at how infectious diseases thrive when people are crowded together, or how they emerge when cities expand into surrounding areas.

'The demographic advantage of youth in such countries would be lost unless combined with healthy living' said Indira Nath, Chair of the Scientific Committee at the International Council for Science.

'Policy makers face the challenge of viewing healthy cities as 'systems' consisting of multiple subsystems along with the overarching super system of climate change.' 

But Professor Capon said that the programme could offer some hope, by combining expertise between scientists and urban planners on how to better develop cities.

The programme will look at everything from the design of public spaces and transport to improvements in housing and free city services.

Professor Capon says the key is understanding that cities are really about people.

'We are attracted to cities for economic, educational and social opportunities,' he said 'When we live in cities, they need to work for us. It is not just about the economic efficiencies.'

 

 

A Welsh woman has landed her dream job, beating off stiff competition from 300 other applicants to win the role of manager of a remote island.

Smitten: Sian Stacey, 26, has swapped her job for a charity in Cardiff to join her boyfriend Mark Carter, 28, on tiny Bardsey Island, a remote isle two miles off the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales

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Smitten: Sian Stacey, 26, has swapped her job for a charity in Cardiff to join her boyfriend Mark Carter, 28, on tiny Bardsey Island, a remote isle two miles off the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales

Sian will now manage the island, which stretches just one-and-a-half miles in length, and live with boyfriend Mark in his house, one of just nine properties on the island

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Sian will now manage the island, which stretches just one-and-a-half miles in length, and live with boyfriend Mark in his house, one of just nine properties on the island

Fell for the island, fell for the man: Sian saw off stiff competition from 300 other applicants who were hoping to land a job in the middle of nowhere, literally

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Fell for the island, fell for the man: Sian saw off stiff competition from 300 other applicants who were hoping to land a job in the middle of nowhere, literally

It seems the former development manager needed little persuasion to ditch her job for a charity in Cardiff... she fell in love with the island - known in Welsh as Ynys Enlli - long before she fell in love with Mark.

The couple met three-and-a-half years' ago during one of Sian's summer visits to Bardsey, which measures just one mile by one-and-a-half miles long and has only nine homes, some of which remain empty in winter.

Mark works on the island's bird observatory, and he will now share his tiny solar-paneled home with his girlfriend.

When Sian saw the advert for a year-long post as manager on the island, she leapt at the chance, saying: 'I knew I was never going to be able to move to Bardsey without a job but I think I can give a lot to this job, things that weren't even advertised.'

City life is overrated: Sian says every time she visits she discovers a new part of the island, despite its diminutive size

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City life is overrated: Sian says every time she visits she discovers a new part of the island, despite its diminutive size

 

The island's often inclement weather means residents on Bardsey can be left stranded for weeks Sian must now get used to growing her own vegetables and relying on tinned food during winter months

The island's often inclement weather means residents on Bardsey can be left stranded for weeks...and Sian must now get used to growing her own vegetables and relying on tinned food during winter months

Meet the neighbours: Of the island's nine houses, only some of them are inhabited year-round

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Meet the neighbours: Of the island's nine houses, only some of them are inhabited year-round

Leaving the cosmopolitan confines of the Welsh capital will see Sian swap her local supermarket for a vegetable patch where she will have to grow her own food, and her only means of transport is a privately-operated boat run by a local boatman.

She said: 'I've grown up there and I love the place. I have been going there for 15 years and I still find different places to explore.

'Food is going to be quite challenging, especially in the winter. There's not many boat trips to the mainland in the winter, so tinned food will be my new best friend.'

Should the couple choose to leave their forgotten hideaway, they'll be at the mercy of Mother Nature; the weather sometimes dictates travel plans.

However, they will be celebrating Christmas and New Year - presumably it'll be a low-key affair - on the island.

For communicating with family, there is an internet connection and some mod-cons are available including a fridge and lighting, all powered by solar panels.

The future's bright, Sian says she's hoping she can persuade others to fall in love with the island she has been visiting for 15 years, and found love on...

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The future's bright, Sian says she's hoping she can persuade others to fall in love with the island she has been visiting for 15 years, and found love on...

Living the dream: With cobalt blue waters and green lands, in summer Bardsey does a good impression of a more exotic isle

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Living the dream: With cobalt blue waters and green lands, in summer Bardsey does a good impression of a more exotic isle

More wildlife than humans: up to 100 puffins and 200 grey seals make their home on blustery Bardsey

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More wildlife than humans: up to 100 puffins and 200 grey seals make their home on blustery Bardsey

Mark's oven is oil-powered and there's a back-up generator should the lights go out.

Sian, who grew up in Llansteffan, said she's hoping to grow the population by encouraging more people to choose an isolated life.

After winning the role, she spoke at an Inspire Cardiff event, saying: 'I'm looking forward to encouraging more volunteers to come to Bardsey. There's a great group but I want to try to increase the numbers.'

'I'm going to be learning a lot of new skills.'

 

 

Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart recently captured these scenes from a fading culture, as he followed Montana ranchers on their final horse drive, moving more than 300 horses down from their winter range. Every spring the Mantle family, along with with a group of wranglers, drives the herd north over 35 miles and three days, through the small town of Three Forks to their ranch. After decades of supplying and tending to horses, the Mantles, citing financial challenges, now plan to sell off their herd and shift to raising beef cattle. Take a moment to travel with the Mantle family through big sky country, on a journey once so familiar and iconic, now fading into memory with the rest of cowboy culture.

     

Wrangler Shad Boardman rides into a pasture during Montana Horses' final horse drive outside Three Forks, Montana, on May 6, 2012. The Mantle family, who own Montana Horses, held their last horse drive where they rounded up approximately 300 horses and drove the herd 35 miles from their winter range to the Mantle ranch. The horses will be picked up by leasers to be used as pack and trail horses at dude ranches and national parks. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

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A view of the 500 acre Mantle ranch outside Three Forks, Montana, on May 3, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Renee Mantle rides in a truck on her way to the wrangler camp before Montana Horses' last annual horse drive, on May 3, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Kail Mantle give instructions to wranglers before the horse drive on May 4, 2012. Kail, a former rodeo champion, and his wife Renee have been operating Montana Horses off a plot of land north of Three Forks since 1995.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Renee Mantle checks the hoof and shoes of a horse during Montana Horses' annual horse drive on May 3, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wrangler Lori Young readies her horse before the start of the horse drive, on May 4, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers ride along railroad tracks during Montana Horses' last horse drive, on May 6, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers gather a herd of horses off the winter range south of Three Forks, Montana, on May 4, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Horses cross a river during Montana Horses' annual horse drive, on May 4, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers work to gather horses outside Three Forks, on May 4, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wrangler Shad Boardman rides his horse through a river on May 4, 2012. The drive is not without dangers -- over the years, a number of wranglers have suffered minor injuries, from head injuries to broken bones. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers gather at camp outside Three Forks, Montana, on May 3, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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A spur on a wrangler's boot during Montana Horses' last horse drive outside Three Forks, Montana, May 6, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers visit beside a campfire under a moonlit sky on May 3, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wrangler Denise Boyd laughs by the campfire on May 4, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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The last of the daylight fades over the wrangler's camp outside Three Forks, Montana, on May 3, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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The belt buckle of wrangler Sara Tharp, seen before Montana Horses' last horse drive on May 4, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Renee Mantle chases a horse trying to break away on May 6, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Horses run to the corrals during Montana Horses' last horse drive in central Montana, on May 4, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers from lead a herd of horses down a paved road on May 6, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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A horse shakes itself off after the second day of Montana Horses' last horse drive on May 5, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers lead a herd of horses outside Three Forks, Montana, on May 6, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Renee Mantle sorts a herd of horses in a corral on May 5, 2012. The Mantles know each of their 300-plus horses by name.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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A wrangler's hand rests on a saddle horn during a horse drive on May 6, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wranglers lead a herd of horses during Montana Horses' last horse drive on May 5, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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After the drive, Renee Mantle enjoys a moment in the pasture with her horses as they vie for attention, on May 6, 2012.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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Wrangler Nate Cummins takes the opportunity to ride by moonlight, the night before the "Super Moon" during Montana Horses' final horse drive outside Three Forks, Montana, on May 4, 2012.

A combine cuts rice in a field near Tucker, Arkansas, on August 16, 2012. Arkansas rice farmers planted 1.135 million acres in 2012, equal to 59 percent of the nation's rice crop this year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.(AP Photo/Danny Johnston) #

 

Boys and girls compete with their sheep at the West Virginia State fair on August 11, 2012 in Lewisburg, West Virginia. (Image was created using an iPhone 4s with Snapseed's vintage filter) (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

 

A nodding donkey pump extracts oil from the earth at an abandoned farm near the old ghost town of Dore, North Dakota, on April 19, 2012. Dore has seen a rebirth with booming oil activity in western North Dakota.(AP Photo/ James MacPherson)

 

A firefighting helicopter fills a bucket of water in heavy smoke as the North Merna wildfire burns in the Bridger National Forest west of the town of Pinedale in Sublette County, Wyoming, on September 16, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

 

Visitors walk through the "infinity room" before a public memorial service for U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 29, 2012. Armstrong, who took a giant leap for mankind when he became the first person to walk on the moon, died in August at the age of 82. (Reuters/Matt Sullivan) #

 

A bear cub with second-degree burns to its paws is examined and treated at the Garden Valley Ranger Station in Idaho, on August 28, 2012. The cub, who is about four months old, was injured in the Mustang Complex Fire. Wildlife veterinarian Mark Drew said the cub, nicknamed Boo Boo, will require long term care to survive. Efforts to locate the cub's mother were unsuccessful. (Reuters/USFS/Kari Greer) #

 

 

Kameron Hays, 7, sports a mohawk while attending the Iowa 80 truck stop's 33rd Annual Truckers Jamboree in Walcott, Iowa, on July 12, 2012. The Iowa 80, located along Interstate 80, is said to be the world's largest truck stop.(Reuters/Adrees Latif)

 

A view of Monument Valley Tribal Park in Utah, on August 14, 2012. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)


A cowboy rides his horse through town as he watches a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Beardstown, Illinois, on May 6, 2012. There are approximately 900 immigrant workers from 34 countries employed in Beardstown at the Cargill meat packing plant and most are willing to work hard at just about anything for a better life in the United States. While both longtime community residents and immigrants agree that most people accept the newcomers, the beginnings were rocky and some problems still remain.(Reuters/Jim Young)

 

Beach visitors watch the sunset in Dauphin Island, Alabama, on August 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) #

 

View from the south Rim of the Grand Canyon near Tusayan, Arizona, on August 10, 2012. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

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