Bhutan’s Alcohol-Fueled Archery: It’s Nothing Like The Olympics

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Archers indulge in a raucous competition, cheering teammates and jeering opponents. Here archers celebrate with a ritual dance after a teammate hit the narrow target.

Tashi Dorji

 

The host of the Winter Olympics, South Korea, excels in the summer game of archery. They grabbed gold medals in all four categories in Rio.

But the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan may be less than awed. Bhutan claims archery for its national sport, and archers pay no heed to the plunging temperatures of winter when they compete propelling arrows across a field.

And if you think of archery as a decorous game, think again.

 A Bhutanese archer draws and releases. Contestants must propel an arrow across a field that is 140 meters (460 feet) long, twice the distance of the range used in the Olympics.

Tashi Dorji

 

In a recent tournament in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, archers competed with full-throated abandon. They hooted and hollered their way through the competition, encouraging their teammates, and deriding their opponents, marrying gusto and ritual.

With every arrow that hits the mark, Bhutanese archers line up, face the target, and break out in a traditional song and dance.

Contestants say this recent competition was in honor of the country’s 2-year-old royal prince, whose parents are Bhutan’s glamorous young king and queen.

Legend has it that the father of the first king used his archery skills to vanquish a general of invading British forces in 1864. Judging by the competition underway, mastering those skills is no mean feat.

Archer Yeshey Norbu stands under a carved wooden canopy and through an interpreter describes the game. Half the members of each team shoot, while those not shooting gather on the other end of the field around the small target. It’s festooned with streamers of different colors, which archers wave back at their teammates to signal where their last arrow landed.

Norbu explains that, “You score one point when the arrow is very close to the target, at an arrow’s distance.” Interestingly, there are evidently no referees in Bhutan’s game. “You score 2 points when it’s a hit. You score 3 points if you hit the bull’s-eye,” he says.

The first team to reach 25 points wins the game.

The target is a narrow board, and the length of the field makes hitting it all the more remarkable. When an archer lets loose an arrow, it must travel 140 meters (460 feet) — twice as long as the range used in the Olympics.

On the sidelines, archer Uygen Thinley ponders that difference. Speaking in a mixture of English and Bhutan’s native Dzongkha, he borders on disdain. When an Olympian hits the mark, Thinley says, “We don’t really appreciate it all that much.”

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She Led Latin American Art in a Bold New Direction TARSILA DO AMARAL: INVENTING MODERN ART IN BRAZIL … NYT

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“Antropofagia” (“Cannibalism”), 1929, a seminal work of Brazilian Modernism by Tarsila do Amaral that is part of a new show of her work at MoMA. Credit Tarsila do Amaral, via Museum of Modern Art

Recently, New York museums have presented retrospectives of all three of the most influential artists of Brazil’s postwar avant-garde. Lygia Clark, with her hinged-metal sculptures you can fiddle with at will, filled the top floor of the Museum of Modern Art. Lygia Pape, known for bold, participative performances and sculptures of iridescent gold filaments, appeared at the Met Breuer. And Hélio Oiticica was the man of the hour this summer at the Whitney, live birds and all.

Tarsila’s “Sol Poente,” 1929, one of her stylized landscapes. Credit Tarsila do Amaral, via Museum of Modern Art

The generation that set the stage for them, however — the one that established Modern art in Brazil in the early 1920s — has received less attention here. You’ll have to go back to the Guggenheim’s 2001 blockbuster “Brazil: Body and Soul” for the last big-ticket appearance of Modernist painters like Emiliano di Cavalcanti, Cândido Portinari and, above all, Tarsila do Amaral (1886-1973): the most popular artist of the last century in her home country, but still little known in the United States. Her mature paintings, featuring oversize bodies in flowing, stylized landscapes, provoked the modern Brazilian penchant for antropofagia, or “cannibalism,” that Clark, Oiticica and Pape would all draw from. In the art of Tarsila (like a Brazilian soccer star, she is always called by her first name), Brazil found a new cultural confidence that said goodbye to European envy and consumed Western, African and indigenous influences with equal relish.

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San Juan Mountains Weather Forecast ~ Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 09:30

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As our last storm exits the area we have another entering the San Juan on SW flow with decent moisture, a 140 kt subtropical jet mixing with a cold front (polar jet to our north). We should see light snow flurries later today in the high country then tonight the storm kicks in as the trough of low pressure moves just upstream (southwest) of our mountains … We could see 8-12″ (more in some places) of snow on southwest aspects above 11,000′.

The large trough sliding down the West coast will bring in warm subtropical Pacific moisture and when mixed with the cold front and orographic lift from the windy conditions should bring good snow fall tonight through mid day Thursday.

We’ll then have a brief clearing Friday and Saturday before the next disturbance arrives late Sunday or early Monday morning. The european model shows a impressive storm with a strong jet that will track further south than two other models show. This would put the San Juans in the bullseye on Monday/Tuesday but it’s too far out to have any confidence.

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Tonight

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GFS – US – 500mb – Loop

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A Reckoning with Women Awaits Trump By David Remnick, The New Yorker

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Even Steve Bannon recognizes that female voters will punish Donald Trump for his cavalier dismissal of assault and abuse allegations.

Photograph by Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

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Donald Trump is the least mysterious figure in the history of the American Presidency. His infantile character, duplicity, cold-heartedness, and self-dealing greed are evident not merely to the majority of the poll-answering electorate but, sooner or later, to those who make the decision to work at his side. This is manifest even in Trump’s favored medium, reality television. Recently, fans of “Celebrity Big Brother” witnessed Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the unforgettably forgettable former White House aide in charge of nothing at all, tearfully confessing her global despair. “It’s not going to be O.K.,” she said.

No kidding. Sooner or later, Trump’s satraps and lieutenants, present and former, come to betray a vivid sense of just how imperilled and imperilling this Presidency is. In their sotto-voce remarks to the White House press, these aides seem to compete in their synonyms for the President’s modesty of intelligence (“moron,” “idiot,” “fool”); his colossal narcissism; his lack of human empathy. They admit to reporters how little he studies the basics of domestic policy and national security; how partial he is to autocrats like himself; how indifferent he is to allies. They are shocked, they proclaim, absolutely shocked. In the past few days, it has been Trump’s misogyny, his heedless attitude toward women and issues of harassment and abuse, that has shocked them most. And those who know him best recognize the political consequences ahead.

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