Sunday, August 27, 2017

Bella Skyway Festival lights up the night

Joanna Koter / youthjournalism.org
One of the art installations at the Bella Skyway Festival, a lights, art and music fest now going on in Toruń, Poland. 
By Joanna Koter
Reporter
TORUŃ, Poland – Although Toruń is a popular tourist destination all year round, there is one week in the summer when its streets are filled to the brim until well after dawn.






You can walk around the Old Town all lit up and resounding with music, and all restaurants and bars are open longer than usual. This is because every year since 2009, the city hosts an international festival of light called Bella Skyway Festival.
This year, the festival is taking place over six days. It began Tuesday August 22nd and ends today, Sunday August 27.
Joanna Koter / youthjournalism.org
Tourists and locals visit the light festival throughtout the night in Old Town, Toruń.
The festival centers on the numerous pieces of installation art involving light, sound, and shapes. Artists from Poland and abroad prepared the installations.
The most popular art at the festival are colorful three-dimensional videos displayed on walls of historical gothic buildings, accompanied by music.
Joanna Koter / youthjournalism.org
One of the most popular types of art at the festival are lights projected onto Gothic buildings.
Joanna Koter / youthjournalism.org
Vendors sell an assortment of light toys.
Other work is also interesting and draws attention to some of the problems encountered by our planet in the 21st century. There are fluorescent puddles (H2SO2), which pinpoint the problem of contaminating water with toxic chemicals.
Another shows a futuristic gathering of brightly lit animal figures (oZoo), representing a new form of life which arose on Earth in the 23rd century, feeding off the remains of plastic left behind by humans.
The festival is incredibly popular both among tourists and Toruń residents.
Locals have an opportunity to see their city from a different side, as perhaps not everyone walks around the Old Town after dark.
Skyway also brings great revenue to local businesses, and new stalls pop up selling light toys and accessories, neon bracelets and hats, and various kinds of fair-style snacks.
The Bella Skyway Festival has become a compulsory part of Toruń’s cultural program for the year, and it will definitely prepare something great for next summer, when it will be celebrating its 10th edition. 
Joanna Koter / youthjournalism.org
The Bella Skyway Festival is finishing its ninth year.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Video: Restoring the Wildcat at age 90

Beth Criado-Band / youthjournalism.org
Part of the Wildcat, a 90-year-old wooden rollercoaster at Lake Compounce, silhouetted against the Connecticut sky.








Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick explains to Youth Journalism International student reporters about the restoration work done this year on the Wildcat, the park’s historic wooden rollercoaster, now in its 90th year:


More on YJI's 2017 visit to Lake Compounce:

Young reporters visit oldest amusement park   Senior Videographer Beth Criado-Band of Perth, Scotland, decided to find out what the a top-ranked coaster was really like by asking a couple of experts - her fellow reporters. 

NavigatingCrocodile Cove: from high speed slides to gently floating on the Lazy River Read reporter Luke Ashworth’s top reasons why the water park Crocodile Cove is one of the coolest places at Lake Compounce.

Rollercoaster guide for scaredy cats   Reporter Mugdha Gurram offers 10 tips for how to conquer your fears and ride that coaster.

Lake Compounce proves memorable for first-time visitor from Ethiopia   Reporter Dawit Leake shares his first amusement park experience as a visitor from Ethiopia, sampling everything from the high speed coasters to a gentle water ride.

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Young reporters visit oldest amusement park

Beth Criado-Band / youthjournalism.org
Student reporters Mugdha Gurram, Luke Ashworth and Alan Burkholder of Connecticut and Dawit Leake of Ethiopia in front of Boulder Dash, a top-rated wooden rollercoaster at Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut.
What are the rollercoasters at America’s oldest amusement park really like? Youth Journalism International Senior Videographer Beth Criado-Band of Perth, Scotland, decided to find out by asking a couple of experts - her fellow reporters during a recent visit to historic Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut. Check out her video of their day at the park, and find out what they said about the coaster:


More on YJI's 2017 visit to Lake Compounce:

Video: Restoring the Wildcat at age 90   Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick explains to Youth Journalism International reporters about the restoration done this year on the Wildcat, the park’s historic wooden rollercoaster.

Navigating Crocodile Cove: from high speed slides to gently floating on the Lazy River Read reporter Luke Ashworth’s top reasons why the water park Crocodile Cove is one of the coolest places at Lake Compounce.

Rollercoaster guide for scaredy cats   Reporter Mugdha Gurram offers 10 tips for how to conquer your fears and ride that coaster.

Lake Compounce proves memorable for first-time visitor from Ethiopia   Reporter Dawit Leake shares his first amusement park experience as a visitor from Ethiopia, sampling everything from the high speed coasters to a gentle water ride.


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Navigating Crocodile Cove: from high speed slides to gently floating on the Lazy River

Beth Criado-Band / youthjournalism.org
The water park Crocodile Cove is one of the newer additions to Lake Compounce, the nation's oldest amusement park.
By Luke Ashworth
Junior Reporter
BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. – The water park at Lake Compounce amusement park can be a desired relief from the harsh summer sun. For many park guests, Crocodile Cove is a place where guests can go to cool off, and enjoy more rides. While some may think the water park is lame, these are my top reasons why Crocodile Cove is one of the coolest places at Lake Compounce.
Over the past few years, park owners invested in and expanded Crocodile Cove. Through the addition of The Riptide Racer and Bayou Bay Wave Pool, there is an increased spotlight on the water park.
Lake Compounce has found a way to mix thrill rides with water, and it has worked for them perfectly. I remember my first time going on Riptide Racer and feeling the rush of adrenaline as I flew down the tube head first, racing my father and sister.
It was a new experience that combined the feelings of fast dry coasters and fun water rides.
The next stop on my list is the Lazy River. It’s an underrated ride that you seem to only enjoy once you sit in your tube and float down its long, winding  stream. The best part about this particular ride is that you can speed things up by taking a detour off the river and down an exhilarating slide. It can add to the overall experience, catering to both the meek and thrill seekers.
Up next on our tour of the waterpark is the Lights out Lighthouse, another tube-based attraction. The rider goes flying down a tube, accelerated by centipical force, since the entire tube is fitted as a spiral inside the lighthouse. Adding to the thrill is that almost all of the experience is in the dark. This is definitely an extreme ride and not for the light-hearted.
These are some of the rides that make Crocodile Cove a unique and fun experience for visitors. For me, the waterpark at Lake Compounce adds a whole other experience to the traditional midway rides, and that’s why I think Crocodile Cove is a great place for families visiting the park.   


More from  YJI's 2017 visit to Lake Compounce

Video: Restoring the Wildcat at age 90   Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick explains to Youth Journalism International reporters about the restoration done this year on the Wildcat, the park’s historic wooden rollercoaster.

Young reporters visit oldest amusement park   Senior Videographer Beth Criado-Band of Perth, Scotland, decided to find out what the a top-ranked coaster was really like by asking a couple of experts - her fellow reporters. 

Rollercoaster guide for scaredy cats   Reporter Mugdha Gurram offers 10 tips for how to conquer your fears and ride that coaster.

Lake Compounce proves memorable for first-time visitor from Ethiopia   Reporter Dawit Leake shares his first amusement park experience as a visitor from Ethiopia, sampling everything from the high speed coasters to a gentle water ride.

*** 
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Rollercoaster guide for scaredy cats

Beth Criado-Band / youthjournalism.org
The Zoomerang, a steel coaster, is in the background of this photo of Lake Compounce and Phobia, a newer steel coaster, is partially shown to the right.
By Mugdha Gurram
Senior Reporter
1.      Take a look at the roller coasters. Quietly marvel at how people are willing to put themselves at the mercy of a cart that moves upside down and backwards at perilous heights.
2.      Be convinced by a friend to put yourself at the mercy of a cart that moves upside down and backwards at perilous heights.
3.      As you stand in line, watch the ride-goers scream as the coaster launches itself along a loop. Hope that it’s out of excitement, and not fear as you suspect.
4.      Finally, it’s time for you to step onto the ride. Consider making a quick dash to the exit, but don’t. “Come on,” you tell yourself, “you’ve made it this far.”
5.      You’re all buckled in and the ride starts, which means there’s no turning back now. As you creep up the first big incline, you realize the mistake you’ve made. You simultaneously want this slow crawl to end and last longer.
6.      The carts races along the first loop and you finally understand what people mean when they say they feel their heart in their throat.
7.      Close your eyes – that should make it bearable, right? Wrong. Now you’re just more aware of the way your body is hanging off the cart with nothing but a glorified seatbelt preventing you from falling to your death. This was a bad idea.
8.      Open your eyes. This was also a bad idea. Now you’re experiencing the disorientation as you go from looking at the back of your eyelids to watching the world spin around you as you hurtle along an ever winding track.
9.      The cart races along one more loop. (By now you’re screaming sounds marginally less petrified, so you’re getting better, right?) And now you’re slowing down to approach the end, so no more screaming necessary.
10.  Hop off the ride, giddy with excitement. Enjoy the way your adrenaline rush makes you romanticize the past few minutes of absolute fear. Now that you’re feeling like a daredevil, it’s time to repeat the process – with hopefully less screaming.
*** 
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Lake Compounce proves memorable for first-time visitor from Ethiopia

youthjournalism.org
Dawit Leake relaxes on the Lazy River at Lake Compounce.
By Dawit Leake
Reporter
BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. – For a visitor in New England, Lake Compounce amusement park is definitely a place to see.
Its historic legacy of 170 years in service and its great thrilling rides made my first visit to an amusement park a memorable one. 
For a first timer, Lake Compounce was a pretty good experience, and its water park was more my pace than the high speed rollercoasters.   
I first rode Boulder Dash, a modern wooden coaster in the classic style. My heart raced as fast as the coaster as it sped up and down along the side of a small mountain.
After Boulder Dash, I took on my wise first-timer’s instinct and went on the calmer water park rides.
The water park section was definitely new for me.  I have been on slightly slower coasters in the past, but never have I experienced rides related to water.
The Lazy River was by far the best of the water park for me. I was so into it that I had to go on again. The calm movement of the inner tube floating along on the gentle current just before the Croc O-Nile – a slide detour – makes this attraction something I could do all day.
While visiting America, spending a day at an amusement park – I recommend Lake Compounce if you are in New England – is a great experience.

More about YJI's 2017 visit to Lake Compounce:


Video: Restoring the Wildcat at age 90   Lake Compounce General Manager Jerry Brick explains to Youth Journalism International reporters about the restoration done this year on the Wildcat, the park’s historic wooden rollercoaster.

Young reporters visit oldest amusement park   Senior Videographer Beth Criado-Band of Perth, Scotland, decided to find out what the a top-ranked coaster was really like by asking a couple of experts - her fellow reporters. 

Navigating Crocodile Cove: from high speed slides to gently floating on the Lazy River Read reporter Luke Ashworth’s top reasons why the water park Crocodile Cove is one of the coolest places at Lake Compounce.

Rollercoaster guide for scaredy cats   Reporter Mugdha Gurram offers 10 tips for how to conquer your fears and ride that coaster.


*** 
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Monday, August 21, 2017

Video: Total solar eclipse in Missouri

YJI Senior Reporter Sydney Hallett filmed the moment when the total solar eclipse reached South St. Louis, Missouri today:

Catching a glimpse of the solar eclipse

Garret Reich / youthjournalism.org
The sun is partially obscured by the moon over Tabor, Iowa, during the solar eclipe Monday, but heavy, dense clouds and some rain put a damper on the viewing.
Youth Journalism International students in Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky and Maine contributed images to this collecting of photos from the August 21 solar eclipse. Some experienced "totality" - when the moon completely obscures the view of the sun - and others enjoyed seeing a partial eclipse. We expect to have a video later today.  It's a tough thing to photograph, but our students gave it a try. Click on any image to enlarge:

Sydney Hallett / youthjournalism.org
Before totality in South St. Louis, Missouri, people gathered at the historic Jefferson Barracks Park. Guest speakers and musicians took to the stage of an amphitheater. Food trucks, radio and television news stations converged upon the park and people waited for the show. Check out the video from this event.

Noah Adelsberger / youthjournalism.org
During the solar eclipse, an effect similar to a sunset occurred. Instead of being limited to a horizon in one direction, however, it was a 360-degree effect. This image was taken during the eclipse at Vista Ridge Park near Eddyville, Kentucky, on Monday.


Noah Adelsberger / youthjournalism.org
The solar eclipse as seen from Vista Ridge Park near Eddyville, Kentucky on Monday.

Sydney Hallett / youthjournalism.org
The moon begins to block the view of the sun during the solar eclipse, as seen from South St. Louis, Missouri, Monday.

Garrett Reich / youthjournalism.org
During the solar eclipse over Tabor, Iowa, on Monday.

Mary Majerus-Collins / youthjournalism.org
The partial solar eclipse, seen through protective glasses in Auburn, Maine.
Noah Adelsberger / youthjournalism.org
Moon shadows on the ground in Vista Ridge Park near Eddyville, Kentucky during the solar eclipse. The leaf cover overhead acted like a pinhole camera, creating the effect of an image of the eclipse on the ground.

Owen Cardwell-Copenhefer / youthjournalism.org
Girl Scouts gather at Bear Creek, their camp in Fairdealing, Kentucky, to watch the solar eclipse. This image was made during a partial eclipse, before totality arrived.

Yelena Samofalova / youthjournalism.org
The partial solar eclipse with about 60 percent of the sun obscured by the moon, as seen in Auburn, Maine. This image was made through solar eclipse watching glasses.

Mary Majerus-Collins / youthjournalism.org
For a time, the clouds obscured the view of the partial eclipse on an otherwise clear day in Auburn, Maine. This image was made through special safety glasses made for viewing the eclipse.
*** 
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Emotional night at U2: The Joshua Tree Tour

Justin Hern / youthjournalism.org
U2 performing at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., this summer.

By Justin Hern
Reporter
FOXBORO, Massachusetts, U.S.A. – With music from the Irish band The Waterboys still playing over the stadium loudspeaker, U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., emerged on stage and 60,000 fans erupted in excitement.

Mullen pounded out the opening drum beat to “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” setting the stage for an electric night of U2: The Joshua Tree Tour.
Justin Hern / youthjournalism.org
U2 frontman Bono.
Then the rest of the band joined Mullen, stepping onto the large part of the stage shaped like the titular Joshua Tree. The tree’s trunk and branches formed walkways out into the crowd, so general admission ticket holders surrounded the musicians as they played.
I really enjoyed this sequence, as the drums served as a call for everyone in the crowd to pay attention.
After the opener, the band went into songs from albums released before The Joshua Tree. The tour – and a special edition box set – marked the 30th anniversary of the hit album. The June 25 Massachusetts show was one of the last before U2 headed off to Europe for late summer concerts. The band will return to America in September for several shows before heading to Mexico and South America.
During the fan-favorite “Bad” from the 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire, lead singer Bono encouraged the crowd to turn on the flashlights on their phones, giving the illusion of stars in the stadium. He told the fans that the band would lift them up, just as they were lifted by their fans, and to set aside troubles, worries or division and let the music take them away. This beautiful moment allowed the crowd to be a part of the show in a special and personal way.
Justin Hern / youthjournalism.org
The lights of thousands of mobile phones set Gillette Stadium aglow during the U2 show.
After performing their hit “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, U2 returned to the larger stage, illuminated by a giant red screen. At 200 feet wide – the largest video screen ever used in rock and roll tour – it showed a silhouette of the Joshua Tree.
This gave off a breathtaking effect, as the smaller part of the stage looked like the shadow of the tree on the screen, making it feel like it was three-dimensional.
The band then transitioned into the beautiful opening guitar riff of “Where the Streets Have No Name,” the opening track of The Joshua Tree and proceeded to play the entire rest of the album in order.
They performed their well-known hits “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “With or Without You,” and “Bullet the Blue Sky,” but also rarely seen deep cuts, such as “Running to Stand Still,” “Red Hill Mining Town,” “One Tree Hill," and “Exit.”
Many of these songs are rarely played live, so for die-hard U2 fans, this show was a gift.
Before this tour, “Exit” and “Trip Through Your Wires” hadn’t been performed for thirty years.
After “Mothers of the Disappeared,” the final song on The Joshua Tree, the band went off stage for a while.
Justin Hern / youthjournalism.org
U2 band members perform in front of a changing and colorful backdrop during their The Joshua Tree tour.
They returned with “Miss Sarajevo,” a song written in the 1990s during the Bosnian genocide, adapted slightly to address the political climate of today. The crowd got involved again, and in a poignant moment, some in the audience unfurled a banner with a picture of a Syrian woman.
Next, U2 performed highlight from albums after 1987, including 1991’s Achtung Baby, 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and 2004’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
Justin Hern / youthjournalism.org
Bono encouraged the crowd
to donate to charities fighting
AIDS.
The band closed with a new song, “The Little Things that Give You Away,” giving fans an appreciated glimpse of what’s to come on their next album, Songs of Experience.
As a massive fan of U2, I found the show simply fantastic. I was fortunate to have very good seats and it was incredible to see the band so close.
Bassist Adam Clayton came out to my side of the crowd on a catwalk multiple times, as did Bono during the song “Beautiful Day.”
The visual spectacle of the show was unmatched. Fans came from far and wide – people in my section had traveled across the country to attend the Massachusetts show.
The diversity of the crowd, both in age and nationality, gave it a global feel that was really special. The concert was politically charged, with Bono making many quips about President Donald Trump and immigration. He encouraged the crowd to donate money to save people from the AIDS epidemic, one of Bono’s preferred charities.
For me, the highlight of the night was “Exit.” Something about the guitars really managed to pop in the stadium and Bono was very intense throughout the entire song. The band and crowd were united in song and experience. It was a night I’ll never forget.

***
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