Monday, June 7, 2010

Turtle boys

One is a 98-year-old statue in Massachusetts and the other is an 8-year-old Chinese boy.
  • The name of the statue is the Burnside Fountain, after the woman who commissioned it in memory of her father. The bronze sculpture, located in Worcester Common, has been both stolen and vandalized, but has been restored to its marble pedestal. There is no water in its basin today, but the statue originally served as a public watering trough for horses and dogs, with the water flowing out of the turtle's mouth.
  • The name of the boy is Maimaiti Hali and he lives in Xinjiang Province (which has yielded some notable mummies). He has had a growth on his back which has gotten bigger and denser as he has aged. Described as "shell-like" and "thick as a bull's hide," it has finally been removed in a 2-hour operation during which it was replaced with skin grafts from his scalp and legs. Maimaiti reported that although the surgery was painful, "I am looking forward to going out in the sun without my shirt on and to going swimming with my friends."
Unlike the turtle in the statue, the flesh-and-blood turtle boy will no longer be bullied.

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