Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 3rd 2015 Contents North America s tallest moun-
tain doesn t just have a new name.
It also has a new elevation.
Denali, the Alaska mountain for-
merly known as Mount McKinley,
is now officially ten feet shorter,
measuring 20,310 feet at its highest
point, the US Geological Survey
The previous measurement of
20,320 feet stemmed from a 1953
survey that used the technology
of the time, officials said. The new
elevation is the result of data col-
lected from the mountain by
climbers in June using technology
that didn t exist in the earlier sur-
vey, such as GPS instruments.
The climb to gather the data
began June 15 and involved one
climber from the University of
Alaska Fairbanks and three
climbers from the private survey
company CompassData Inc, USGA
spokesman Mark Newell said. Dur-
ing their 14 days on the mountain,
the climbers pulled equipment and
supplies on sleds.
The change comes just days after
the Obama administration
announced its decision to bestow
the traditional Alaska Native name
to the mountain on the eve of pres-
ident s visit to Alaska this week.
The change to Denali---an Athabas-
can word meaning "the high
one"---replaces the name that hon-
oured the 25th president, William
McKinley, who never set foot in
"We think this revised elevation,
with a more precise measurement,
is a fitting tribute to the name
Denali," Newell said.
Known for its majestic views,
the mountain is dotted with gla-
ciers and covered at the top with
snow year-round. Powerful winds
make it difficult for the adventur-
ous few who seek to climb it. Each
year, about 1,200 climbers attempt
to summit the mountain, with only
about half actually succeeding.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 3, 2015
North America's tallest mountain
gets new name and height
New York s sanitation department
has its very own anthropologist-in-
residence, a garbage guru who studies
the refuse along the curbs of the
biggest US city as a mirror into the
lives of its 8.5 million residents.
"What does trash tell you about us?"
asks New York University professor
Robin Nagle, who frequently goes out
on trucks with garbage-collection crews
in search of an answer.
So, what s her take on the nearly 3.5
million-ton annual trash pile collected
by New York s Department of Sanita-
"We re a throwaway culture that s
going too fast," she says. Modern
Gotham, she says, tends to treat just
about everything---from furniture to
electronics to clothing---like so many
paper coffee cups.
"We assume that we don t need to
waste time taking care of mundane,
useful objects when we can, with no
responsibility, get rid of them," she says.
Factor in a city of mostly small apart-
ments, where residents are constantly
tossing out stuff to make more space,
and you get what Nagle considers a
gold mine for garbage pickers.
Many residents furnish their homes
with other people s refuse. Some forage
for edible food that s never been cooked,
such as bagels, rice and pasta. And a
private wardrobe could be filled with
rejected clothing, shoes and jewelry,
along with sofas, beds, domestic appli-
ances, even paintings.
"The quantities of trash that New
Yorkers throw out are dazzling," Nagle
says. "And the quality of goods they
put on the street because they re done
with it and discardable is also very
On a micro level, Nagle says, san-
itation workers get to know the rhythms
of the people on their route from the
refuse she calls "the physical record of
our daily lives." If there s a divorce, they
might find photos of the former spouse
thrown out. Or if someone has had a
drinking problem, it s reflected in the
bottles. Or when babies arrive, dispos-
able diapers appear.
Nagle, 54, lobbied sanitation officials
for two years before being named to
the unpaid position of anthropologist-
in-residence in 2006. Her research has
led to several books, speaking engage-
ments, a New York University course
she teaches titled Garbage in Gotham
and a personal campaign to get man-
ufacturers to use more recyclable mate-
But Nagle has not been merely an
ivory-tower scholar. She s gotten her
hands dirty, literally, by going through
the training, learning to drive the trucks
and working for almost a year as a reg-
ular, salaried sanitation worker.
"She s part of the family," says san-
itation assistant chief Keith Mellis.
Her biggest contribution, as far as
the city s 6,400 rank-and-file sanitation
workers are concerned, is in raising
morale for a job that is often over-
In talks to new recruits, she spreads
a message of pride that the 134-year-
old department nicknamed "New York s
Strongest" is "the city s most important
uniformed force," clearing streets of
the refuse that would otherwise breed
vermin and disease. (AP)
Trash talks: New York
meaning in garbage
A National Park Service brochure depicting the newly renamed Denali.
Obama opened a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing
solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its
glorious but changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate
change. AP PHOTO
New York University professor and Department of Sanitation of New York
anthropologist-in-residence Robin Nagle puts some discarded refuse into the
truck as she accompanies sanitation worker Joe Damiano during his morning
rounds, yesterday, in New York. Nagle studies the refuse along the curbs of the
nation's biggest city as a mirror into the lives of its 8.5 million residents.
Links Archive September 2nd 2015 September 4th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page