Dorms deck the halls for Christmas

first_imgNotre Dame students are busy decking the residence halls for the holiday season. The 29 dorms on campus each celebrate in a different way, with unique events and traditions.This past Friday, Carroll Hall hosted its signature event, Carroll Christmas, inviting the entire student body to start celebrating the holidays. This year’s turnout for the event was almost double last year’s, with an estimated 600 people in attendance, Carroll Christmas commissioner and junior Mitchell Meersman said.Meersman said this year’s event featured its traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides and performances from student music and comedy groups, in addition to arcade-style “Reindeer Games.” Carroll Christmas was first hosted 15 years ago, replacing “Carroll Haunted House,” a Halloween-themed signature event.“There are things that we always do at Carroll Christmas,” he said. “We always have Santa and the elves, and our freshmen are traditionally the ones who dress up. It’s a rite of passage kind of thing. In Carroll Hall, they dye their freshmen’s hair gold, and then at Carroll Christmas you work a shift as an elf.”Wei Lin | The Observer Meersman said Carroll Christmas is one of his favorite dorm traditions.“I would encourage everyone to try and make it out to Carroll Christmas before they graduate, especially if they’ve never been to Carroll before,” he said. “It’s a great way to get introduced to Caroll. We’re really not that far away.”Junior Patrick DeJong, president of O’Neill Hall, said the dorm’s signature Christmas decoration is its large O’Neill “O” wreath.“Once the ‘O’ comes out, everyone gets excited,” he said. “Everyone knows it’s Christmastime.”O’Neill also spreads Christmas cheer inside the dorm, DeJong said, with section decorations and a “Secret Santa” gift exchange.“O’Neill really revolves around its sections,” he said. “Going out with the guys, going Christmas shopping, getting trees, getting lights, getting gifts, getting stockings is just a blast. It really gets you in the mood for Christmas.”Dillon Hall employs 5,000 lights to produce its annual light show, senior and resident assistant Tom Hite said, which has been a tradition in Dillon for more than 10 years.“We have a ton of lights on the side of Dillon, in multiple colors,” he said. “The performance is about 10 minutes long. It’s synched to music. It’s a giant production.”The annual light show premiered last night and will run at 8 p.m. every night this week.Pangborn Hall focuses on creating a festive environment within the dorm community with events such as door decorating competitions, cookie decorating and a tacky Christmas sweater party.“Since we’re here for so long, we’re here up until Dec. 17 or 18, I think it’s important to make the dorm a homey atmosphere,” sophomore and hall president Annie Batcheller said. “Your dorm’s already your home. When I’m at home during Christmastime, I want my home to be decorated, and I want it to look like Christmas. This is the same thing.”Hite said the residence hall system at Notre Dame allows students to come together and celebrate the holidays in a familial setting.“If the goal is to have the dorm be a family, which I feel that Dillon is, it’s nice to have everyone decorating on Friday afternoon,” he said. “The whole section’s out decorating, Christmas music is blasting, we’re drinking eggnog. That’s kind of like a family event.”The Carroll dorm culture is also conducive to celebrating the holidays as a community, Meersman said.“In Carroll, we study together, we hang out together. Christmas is a family thing,” Meersman said. “Because we’re celebrating it together, it solidifies the whole idea of the Notre Dame dorms as trying to create that family.”Outside of the dorm, University-sponsored decorations and events help contribute to the holiday spirit on campus, Batcheller said.“Notre Dame does a great job,” she said. “I love how there’s garland in the Main Building. I love all the free food. It feels like everyone’s in a little better mood because of it.”Despite the impending stress of finals, Hite said students find ways to enjoy the holiday season and spread Christmas cheer.“Christmas is a big holiday,” Hite said. “Do it right. Go all out. Spend time together. Because it’s easier to be in a better mood during finals week when there’s Christmas lights up.”Tags: Carroll Christmas, Dillon Hall light show, Pangborn Halllast_img read more

Kerry Butler & Matt Walton Get Under My Skin & Begin Previews

first_img View Comments Under My Skin Sex, love and healthcare? These three things that we need but don’t always necessarily get, are all touched upon in Under My Skin. A twist of fate leads to love and laughs when New York’s most eligible bachelor Harrison Baddish (Walton) and a single, working mother Melody Dent (Butler), hilariously experience each other’s lives and see things from a very different perspective. Related Shows Additional cast members include Edward James Hyland, Megan Sikora, Allison Strong, Kate Loprest, Andrew Polk and Dierdre Friel. The play will celebrate its official opening on May 15. Nothing like a classic body-switch with your boss! Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser’s Under My Skin starts preview performances on April 5 at The Little Shubert Theatre. Tony nominee Kerry Butler and Matt Walton star in the sexy new comedy directed by Kirsten Sanderson.  Show Closed This production ended its run on June 8, 2014last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Snuggle Up With Jonathan Groff & More

first_img View Comments Star Files Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Snuggle Up With Jonathan GroffWinter may be on its way, but HBO is once again giving us the perfect excuse to stay home and snuggle up on the sofa with some of our Great White faves. Girls, with Adam Driver, Andrew Rannells and Zachary Quinto (plus Pan’s Allison Williams!), returns for its 10-episode fourth season on January 11, 2015. On the same night, the second series of Looking, starring the delectable Jonathan Groff, will kick off its second series. Bring on the cold!Kelli O’Hara & Steven Pasquale Reunite With Jason Robert BrownBridges of Madison County stars Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, along with Carolee Carmello, Betsy Wolfe and more, will celebrate Jason Robert Brown’s appointment as concert venue SubCulture’s 2015 Artist-In-Residence on December 6. The evening will feature for the first time on one stage, original cast members from every one of the composer’s New York productions. Worried you’ll miss it and need a live Brown fix? The three-time Tony winner’s Honeymoon In Vegas begins Broadway previews on November 18.Watch How to Put on Cats MakeupCats will soon prowl into London’s West End and in anticipation, the production has released the below video of Callum Train’s transformation into Munkustrap (Old Deuteronomy’s second in command). Nicole Scherzinger will lead the cast in making the memory live again from December 6 at the London Palladium.center_img Jonathan Grofflast_img read more

Instagram Takeover | Brandon Thrower

first_imgThis month’s Instagram Takeover features North Carolina-based photographer and trail running fanatic Brandon Thrower—AKA @bttrailrunner. Brandon can usually be found criss crossing the trails of Western North Carolina, particularly those in and around the Linville Gorge area. When’s he’s not capturing the beauty of the Southern Appalachian landscape around him with his camera, he’s competing in competitive trail runs and sometimes directing them. He also uses his Instagram account to document his affinity for Western North Carolina beer and passion for home brewing. If you’re looking for daily inspiration and some great tips about exploring the WNC mountains @bttrailrunner‘s account is a must follow. Check out some of his shots below.Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.50.56 AM“Running in the Linville Gorge is extremely tough and demanding, but oh so rewarding.  Recognizable from so many angles across the region, Table Rock in the Linville Gorge holds a special place in my heart, as I am sure it does for many who live in Western North Carolina.  This iconic peak also offers one of the best views in all the Blue Ridge.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.54.32 AM“The Swannanoa Rim, which includes the massive summits of Graybeard and Blue Ridge Pinnacle, also contains a fun little bump between the two called Rocky Knob.  This small open rock face offers up 270 degree views of the Great Craggy Mountains and the ever undulating Foothills as they fall off to the Piedmont.  A fun and rewarding scramble mid run.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.56.41 AM“Probably the easiest hike in all of the Linville Gorge, the short trip out to Pinnacle still has some of the best views along the rim of this famous ditch. We decided to stop and catch the sunset from its rocky summit on a family camping trip last fall and it did not disappoint.  I was lucky enough to capture this shot as the sun was falling behind Bald Knob and was lighting the autumn leaves aglow.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.59.23 AM“Max Patch is just one example of the many wonderful high mountain balds we have in North Carolina.  All across the western part of the state, especially along the Tennessee/North Carolina border, you’ll find many like this, but I think this one takes the cake for best views.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.01.13 AM“If you find yourself in the Wilson Creek Area of Pisgah National Forest, then you must go to Little Lost Cove Cliffs and witness the best view you will find in the entire area.  Some friends and I had fun exploring the cliffs and checking out the monstrous views of Grandfather Mountain and beyond.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.02.54 AM“For the past few years near my birthday, I’ve had friends join me on a complete traverse of the entire Black Mountain Crest, which is the highest ridgeline in all of the Appalachia’s. The ridge boast 10+ peaks over 6,000 ft in elevation and numerous other 5,000 ft peaks along the way.  We start early each year to catch the sunrise from the bald between Celo Knob and Mt Gibbs and it never disappoints.  The shadow of this monstrous range is cast far into the Cane River Valley below.”Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.07.07 AM“North Carolina is home to many of the highest mountains in all the Appalachians, but one subset of ranges that is often overlooked is the Amphibolite Range in the extreme northwest part of the state in Watauga and Ashe counties.  With seven mountains topping out over 5,000 ft in elevation and all separated by deep gaps and valleys, the mountains here feel much larger.  Three Top Mountain might be the most impressive of them all though, especially if you enjoy to scramble.”[divider]Q & A With Brandon[/divider]BRO: What is your current home base and where are you from originally?BT: My wife and I are currently in the moving process and heading to Morganton, NC.  We are both really excited about the move and we love the town.  We have lived just down the road in Hickory for the past few years and have really enjoyed our time there as well though.  I originally grew up in a small town of the central Piedmont called Randleman. BRO: How long have you been trail running? BT: I actually didn’t start running at all until I was 20, but around that time I was getting ready to transfer to Appalachian State and was drawn to the mountains and the trails.  I started running short and easy local park trails to get in shape for backpacking trips and eventually I just began to run my backpacking trips in a few hours instead.  Trail running definitely opened up the door to explore the many trails of the High Country region on a daily basis and still be able to make it to class the next day.BRO: Outside of trail running, what is your favorite outdoor activity?BT: Trail Work!  It is so important to give back to our trails and help to keep them sustainable for future generations and the health of our environment.  I wish I could get out more and help all the great groups that do this unseen work by many, but when I’m available and there is a workday within a reasonable distance of the casa, I try to be there to help out. BRO: What’s your favorite town in the Blue Ridge?BT: Man, that is a tough question.  There are so many awesome towns in the region that all provide their own unique flavor.  That being said though, I’m really partial to my new home base of Morganton and my rambling college abode of Boone.  Both of them have really fun downtown vibes, great breweries and eateries, and they have been the jumping off point of so many of my adventures.  I know that is two towns, but lets just call it a tie. BRO: How did you get into photography?BT: I started shooting on film back when I graduated high school with an old SLR I got one Christmas.  I think my love of taking photos of inspiring landscapes is what drew me to the mountains in the first place.  With it being film though, it got really expensive for a college kid to develop the photos and buy film on a regular basis.  That coupled with the fact that a SLR is not the easiest thing to lug around, especially on long trail runs, I just started taking mental pictures there for awhile.  That was until smart phone camera technology became more advanced, especially in the past few years.  Almost all of my trail running pictures have been taken on an Iphone.  I can easily carry it in a small pocket in my running pack or handheld water bottle and once I see something that inspires me, I put one of my friends running through it in a picture.BRO: How long have have you been shooting?BT: Wow, I guess I’ve been shooting off and on for about 10 years now.  My current obsession with capturing trail running didn’t start until about three years ago. BRO: If you could only choose one area in this region to hike, explore, and photograph for the rest of your life what would it be?BT: I think I am in that region now.  From our new home in Morganton, I can explore the looming Black Mountains, the depths of the Linville Gorge, the numerous waterfalls of the Wilson Creek Area, the high mountain balds of Roan, the small but equally beautiful South Mountains, and the High Country in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain all within an hours drive or less.  I think I’m where I’m supposed to be. BRO: One piece of gear (minus your camera) you wouldn’t head into the woods without?BT: My Ultimate Direction AK Vest is pretty much an essential tool for me when exploring vast mountains and trails with little chance of resupply.  It allows me to carry all I need without being bulky and heavy.   BRO: Favorite trail in the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic?BT: Man, another tough question.  Narrowing things down to one thing is difficult for me if you haven’t yet realized, but I think I’d have to go with the Black Mountain Crest Trail.  That trail is so extremely diverse and amazing, it is almost unfathomable.  It is also one of the most difficult trails in the region, but that usually means fun times are ahead. 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Paper ashtrays from now on on the beaches of Hvar

first_imgAccording to the concept of the Pag association Volim Vlašići and the project “Please do not throw cigarette butts, our fish and birds do not smoke”, the City of Hvar has set up biodegradable cardboard ashtrays to reduce the environmental and visual problem of leaving cigarette butts on beaches. Ashtrays can be disposable or reusable, they are made of paper (cardboard), they are biodegradable and they have assembly instructions on them. They are used in such a way that sand is put inside, and ashtrays are driven into the sand so that they can stand unhindered. After using the ashtray, it is taken out of the sand and the sand that is inside comes out through the holes in the ashtray.  The ashtrays are thrown into a nearby trash can. If you also want paper ashtrays in your destination and beaches, contact the Association I love Vlasic and join the project. Now this great project is spreading to the town of Hvar. center_img “We hope that other municipalities, cities, counties and tourist boards will follow their positive example”Point out from the Association Volim Vlašić. Cigarette butts are a big problem on beaches, both primarily environmentally and visually. Just as a solution to this problem, the Vlašići Association from the island of Pag last year set up free paper ashtrays on the beaches and solved this big problem in the simplest way. Photo: Hvar townlast_img read more

KPK shows ‘lack of willingness’ to fight corruption in natural resources sector: Activists

first_imgCritics have questioned whether the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will be able to fulfill its promise of addressing corruption in the natural resources sector, which potentially accounts for the largest state losses of any sector in Indonesia.KPK chairman Firli Bahuri recently told the commission’s newly inaugurated deputy for law enforcement, Karyoto, to crack down on corruption in mining and other natural resources businesses.Corruption in the natural resources sector has, according to researchers, caused larger state losses than similar illicit practices in other sectors. Antigraft watchdog Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) recorded 37 instances of corruption in the natural resources sector under investigation, accounting for Rp 6.03 trillion (US$403 million) in estimated state losses – four times the estimated losses from corruption in the banking sector.Four of the cases were related to mining activities, causing an estimated Rp 5.9 trillion in state losses collectively. These were followed by similar illicit practices pertaining to land management with an estimated Rp 111.2 billion in losses from 16 cases.However, ICW researcher Egi Primayoga said the cases would not be solved anytime soon, blaming “the current KPK leadership’s lack of willingness” to solve them. Read also: 100 days of blunders: Watchdog slams new KPK chairman’s performanceFor example, the KPK has yet to complete investigation against Supian Hadi, the regent of East Kotawaringin in Central Kalimantan. The KPK declared the regent a suspect in February of last year for allegedly accepting gratuities between 2010 and 2012 from mining companies in exchange for mining licenses.The antigraft body estimated that Supian’s actions had caused Rp 5.8 trillion in state losses from environmental damage caused by the mining operation.“The investigation of the case should have been finished [by now]. However, I’m not sure that new KPK leaders will pay attention to such cases, as these practices often implicate bigwigs,” said Egi.Syahrul Fitra of Auriga Nusantara echoed Egi, saying the KPK’s pursuit of corruption cases in the natural resources sector had not shown significant results after the new leaders were inaugurated in December of last year.“Maybe they are working quietly. However, we have not seen significant progress so far. Several old cases have also been left hanging,” Syahrul said.He added that investigators’ limited knowledge of natural resources management had prevented them from connecting the illicit practices with their possible environmental effects.Read also: Nur Alam’s graft verdict ‘loss’ for environmental protectionLaode Muhammad Syarif, the executive director of the Partnership for Governance Reform (Kemitraan) and a former KPK deputy chairman, urged law enforcement to use other laws to prosecute graft suspects, such as the Mining Law.He called on law enforcement officers from other institutions – including the National Police, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Environment and Forestry Ministry – to cooperate in the pursuit of graft suspects in the natural resources sector.“If they are serious about prosecuting, for example, crimes related to mining, it will be very easy because the crimes are happening right in front of our eyes.”Responding to the criticism, KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said the antigraft body had been working to curb corruption in the natural resources sector.However, he acknowledged the issue was not as simple as it may seem, because the root of corrupt practices in the sector was a phenomenon called “state capture” – a systemic political corruption in which private interests influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.“We have launched at least 27 cases pertaining to the forestry sector [since our establishment in 2003]. We are also studying to improve governance in the sector,” Ali said.Editor’s note: The article has been updated to include the KPK’s comment.Topics :last_img read more

Rowan buys two jack-up rigs from Petrobras

first_imgOffshore driller Rowan Companies has bought two jack-up drilling rigs from Petrobras for a total of $77 million. Rowan has concluded the purchase of two LeTourneau Super 116E jack-up rigs, the P-59 and P-60, which were both delivered new into service in 2013, in a public auction from a subsidiary of Petrobras for $38.5 million per unit, the driller informed on Friday.As previously reported, Rowan was the high bidder in a Petrobras public auction with a bid price of $30 million per rig. While the high bid was not accepted by Petrobras, after negotiations, both parties agreed to the revised price.The company said it intends to mobilize these modern jack-ups to the Middle East from their current location in Brazil in late first quarter 2018.Tom Burke, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We consider this purchase an opportunistic investment, made near a cyclical low, at a highly attractive price. Since mid-2015 we have divested five older jack-ups (Rowan Louisiana, Rowan Juneau, Rowan Alaska, Rowan Gorilla II and Rowan Gorilla III).“The addition of these two modern rigs will help renew the Rowan fleet and increase the company’s future earnings capability. We are very familiar with the design and construction of these rigs. We are confident in our ability to integrate these jack-ups into our existing fleet to generate strong financial returns from this investment and deliver safe, efficient and reliable operations to our customers.”The company also announced that it sold the Cecil Provine in November 2017 for scrap, and has cold-stacked the Gorilla IV following the conclusion of its latest contract.last_img read more

Regional health care to be improved with establishment of CARPHA

first_img Sharing is caring! 14 Views   no discussions Share Share Tweetcenter_img HealthLifestyle Regional health care to be improved with establishment of CARPHA by: – July 5, 2011 Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Denzil Douglas GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) – The 32nd annual meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in St Kitts and Nevis culminated with the Bureau of Heads agreeing that it was a focussed meeting with positive outcomes, as the region observed CARICOM Day.Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and incoming chairman of CARICOM, Denzil Douglas, said at the closing ceremony that the summit dealt decisively with key issues including health, climate change, agriculture, and transportation.Douglas, who has lead portfolio responsibility for human resource development, health, and HIV/AIDS in the quasi-Cabinet of the CARICOM Conference Heads of Government, disclosed that the new Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is now a legally established entity, following the signing of the inter-governmental agreement on July 2. This, he said, is a “fitting tribute” to the community.CARPHA was the third and final component of the 2001 Nassau Declaration to be realised by the Community; the other two being the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) and the Caribbean Cooperation in Health (CCH).This agency is expected to improve the quality of health care delivery in the region by merging the core functions of the five regional health institutions (Caribbean Epidemiological Research Center (CAREC), Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI), Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), and the Caribbean Drug Testing Regional Laboratory (CDTRL).Douglas highlighted the significant role of the Community in the impending United Nations high level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and noted that this issue was given priority attention as the region prepared its high-level delegation for that special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) in September.One of the major issues that the Community wants to include on the agenda of the high level meeting is the formulation of appropriate policies to address risk factors, such as tobacco, alcohol, diet and lack of physical exercises in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles among its peoples.The Community has been deemed the front-runner in the fight against chronic NCDS, since its first ever Summit in NCDs in 2007, and was largely instrumental in lobbying for the resolution that spawned this special meeting to address the pressing health problem of NCDs, which cause an average of over 70 percent of the deaths, globally.With regards to climate change, an issue that Guyana has played a leading role in advocating, Douglas said that it will be included on the agenda of the 2011 Summit of the Americas as a matter of priority, in light of the susceptibility of Small Island Developing States (SIDs) to this natural phenomenon.The conference had reviewed the region’s capacity to respond to hurricanes and underscored the role of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) as facilitator, driver, coordinator and motivating force for the promotion and engineering of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in all participating States.Referring to the link between agriculture and transportation, Douglas underscored the importance of preserving food security in the region as well as the need to transport adequately, people and goods across the Community. He said that decisions were made to engage and involve the private sector and the academic community in these two priority areas.Caribbean News Now Sharelast_img read more

Severin McKenzie wants manufacturers to be treated differently from merchandisers

first_img Share Share 29 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring!center_img Tweet LocalNews Severin McKenzie wants manufacturers to be treated differently from merchandisers by: – August 5, 2011 In photo: Emerald Touch, a locally manufactured bathroom tissue. Photo credit: visitdominica-wordpress.comSeverin McKenzie the Public Relations Officer of the Dominica Manufacturers Association, wants manufacturers to be treated differently than merchandisers.Mr. McKenzie reported to the media after a situational analysis workshop held for the members of the Manufacturers Association, that the Government should view manufacturers differently as manufacturing has the ability to assist in developing the country.“You cannot treat a manufacturer the same way that you treat somebody who imports finished products and just put it on a supermarket shelf. There is a very big difference and there is a very high risk in fact that manufacturer’s take. A manufacturer for example goes into the process of purchasing machinery, purchasing raw materials converting those raw materials, paying for the location whether it is rent or whether it is a mortgage that you have on the venue, transportation, workers, utility, you just name it and at the end of the day the only thing that you have is the final product that you are going to sell.Mr. McKenzie also highlighted the significant risk which manufacturers take when beginning this venture, as the success of the business depends on whether the consumers like the product or not.“God forbid that when you end up with that finished product the consumers say that they do not like it. A situation like this arises and then it could just throw your business into a precipice, because this is almost a point of no return. So it is a very big risk that the manufacturer takes, so you cannot treat a manufacturer who goes into this level of investment the same way as you treat somebody who sees something on the internet, brings it in, goes to the Customs clears it, puts it on the shelf, multiplies it by five and then sells it to the consumers,” he said.Mr. McKenzie noted that “there is a very big difference in merchandizing and importing finished products as opposed to manufacturing.”Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Kay doubles up at Farley

first_imgBy Jerry MackeyFARLEY, Iowa (June 16) – Justin Kay was a double winner Friday at Farley Speedway.The Out-Pace Racing Products IMCA Late Models took the green with Nick Marolf blasting into the lead from his front row start. Marolf looked to be on cruise control as he rode the top side of extremely fast track but engine woes sidelined the leader as the race hit the midway point.Joel Callahan assumed the point only to have a spin as he worked lapped traffic force him to the rear. Justin then took over the point and went on to record the win. Tyler Bruening and Dan Shelliam completed the top three.The GSI Collision Specialists IMCA Modifieds provided another exciting feature. Matt Gansen took the race lead early, only to have the sixth starting Kay chase him down and make the win­ning pass on lap number 12 of the non-stop 20-lap main event. Gansen and Joel Callahan rounded out the top three.Troy Bauer snapped Tyler Soppe’s recent hot streak in the GSI Collision Specialists IMCA North­ern SportMod 15-lap main event. Bauer took command early and went on to score a 10-car length win over Nick Coates with Soppe recording a third place finish.Phil Holtz continued his stronghold on the Bakey Seamless Gutters IMCA Stock Car division with his third consecutive feature win at Farley. Scotter Dulin and Tommy Thompson completed the top three.last_img read more