Simon Beck carefully plots his course before shuffling through a windswept snowfield high in the Rocky Mountains.
Using a compass, snowshoes and his background as a cartographer and competitive orienteer, the 61-year-old British artist and a handful of volunteers recently tromped across a frozen reservoir near the ski resort town of Silverthorne, west of Denver, to create a massive, geometrical design on a fresh canvas of snow.
The result after more than a dozen hours of labor in freezing weather and under an unrelenting sun was a spectacular spiral pattern the length of about two soccer fields.
"I hope it makes people more aware of the snow and the environment and the beauty of it and how we need snow," Beck said after completing the drawing. "And I think it's a really beautiful and unique art form."
Beck finished his day with high fives from his volunteers and congratulations from people who gathered on a nearby hillside to watch his progress.
But it hasn't always gone this smoothly. It's never clear how many workers will show up. And if bad weather rolls in, an intricate piece of art can quickly disappear.
"It's very frustrating when you plod around for hours and hours and hours and then the wind blows it away before you've finished it," he said.
Beck started making fractal drawings in snow in 2004 outside his winter home at France's Les Arcs ski resort when he trampled out a five-pointed star spanning more than 300 feet (91 meters) "just for a bit of fun." He didn't realize how good it looked until he rode a ski lift the next day and saw it from above.
"Snow drawing, which to me seems like a fairly obvious idea, was not something anyone else had ever done as far as I could tell, and I was really surprised by that," he said.
Beck has completed about 330 snow drawings and 120 in sand, and has set a goal of 1,000 total drawings by the time he's 80. His drawings are commissioned around the world, he has published a book, and he has attracted a dedicated fan base.
Carolyn Tiller, who has been following Beck's career for three or four years, watched his progress on the reservoir and delivered him and his crew cookies and spiked cocoa.
The 62-year-old retired gemologist said Beck's art reminds her of her childhood playing with a Spirograph, the classic toy that makes it easy to create detailed geometric drawings.
"I also really appreciate someone who can make something by one step after another step after another step," said Tiller, who lives across the street from the reservoir. "They say the greatest journeys start with one step, and that's a perfect example."
The winners of the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC), a social initiative by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) to encourage and promote the promising entrepreneurs, have been announced at a ceremony in the city.
The YEC, an initiative under BYLC’s entrepreneurship development wing in association with DFID and Manusher Jonno Foundation, is part of the organization’s efforts to nurture the passion of aspiring entrepreneurs with unique revenue-generating business ideas by connecting them to the right tools and networks.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun was the chief guest at the award-giving ceremony held at a city hotel on Tuesday.
Acting High Commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh Kanbar Hossein-Bor and Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) Shaheen Anam joined the ceremony as special guests.
Speaking as the chief guest at the event, Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said, “BYLC Ventures is a timely initiative, and this YEC endeavor to select, invest in, and cultivate the next generation of Bangladesh’s entrepreneurs has the potential to add great value to the economy and make the ground that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of.”
The five winning teams each received seed funding of Tk 8 lakh with an option of further Tk 15 lakh in additional investment, based on their performances. Moreover, the five teams will have access to a co-working space, mentoring, and a rigorous accelerator curriculum for six months from BYLC.
The five winning teams are Eco Wraps, a production and packaging company of cellulose-based biodegradable biopolymer bags; Tinkers, a producer of educational and interactive learning materials and toys; Agri Mushroom and Multi-farming, an agri-tech company; Selvice, an online marketing platform for event logistics; and Digigrow, a cloud-based multi-channel platform for farmers, independent investors, and partnered retailers.
In his opening remarks, Ejaj Ahmad, founder and president of BYLC, said, “BYLC has been investing in promising young leaders for the past ten years. This YEC venture is our latest initiative to invest in Bangladesh’s most promising young founders and help them grow their business.”
Kanbar Hossein-Bor, acting High Commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh, commended BYLC for contributing to creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh. “Funding is not the only thing that young entrepreneurs need in today’s world to thrive in the current business climate. Under this campaign, the winning teams will learn tangible business and leadership skills that will help them build their ventures,” he said.
Speaking as a special guest at the event, Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said, “Bangladeshi youth cannot depend only on jobs. In this age of rapid technological advancement and automation, it is critical for youth to pursue self-employment opportunities through entrepreneurial initiatives.”
Over 500 business ideas were submitted in the initial phase of the challenge. The selection process included a residential bootcamp with 200 top founders, further vetting of top 30 teams, and presentation of 16 finalists in front of an investment committee comprising of BYLC management, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Five climbers are attempting to scale Mount Everest, battling extreme cold, high winds and piled-up snow and ice as they try to become the first to reach the top of the world's highest mountain in the winter in 27 years, an official said Wednesday.
The climbers — three from Spain and two from Germany — are already acclimatizing around Everest's base camp area as they wait for weather conditions to improve, said Meera Acharya of Nepal's Department of Mountaineering.
They're expected to be accompanied on their ascent by Nepalese Sherpa guides, but it was not yet decided how many would go up the slope with them.
While there are no rules prohibiting climbers from attempting to scale Everest during the winter, only a handful have reached the mountain's 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) -high peak during that season. The feat was first accomplished in 1980, and has not been done since 1993.
Everest is mainly scaled during the spring climbing season in April and May, when weather conditions are favorable.
People’s Theatre Association (PTA) in cooperation with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) held a cleanliness campaign on the Central Shaheed Minar premises on Monday.
Liaquat Ali Lucky, founder of PTA and Director General of BSA, inaugurated the ‘Shaheed Minar Cleanliness Campaign’ where over 500 children from different schools and cultural organisations took part.
The campaign began with the observance of a one-minute silence as a mark of respects to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement and the singing of the national anthem.
Later, PTA and BSA members staged a cultural programme where they performed songs, including ‘Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano’ and two group songs written and composed by Lucky.
Along with acrobatic performances, the cultural session also featured group dance performances with three songs, including ‘Dhannya Mujib Dhannya’.
After the cultural performances, all the participants, led by Ali Lucky and other officials of PTA and BSA, swept the Shaheed Minar premises and surrounding areas.
The event concluded with an oath to keep the Shaheed Minar neat and clean.
Bangladesh Youth Center (BYLC) will announce the names of five winning teams of Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) programme on Tuesday who will receive seed funding of Tk 800,000.
A programme will be held at Lakeshore Hotel in Gulshan of the city at 6:30pm on Tuesday, said a press release on Monday.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun will be present at the event as the chief guest where deputy high commissioner of the UK to Bangladesh Kanbar Hossein-Bor, and executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation Shaheen Anam will be present as special guests.
BYLC organized the challenge with the support from Manusher Jonno Foundation and UK aid where over 500 business ideas were submitted in the initial phase.
The five winning teams will be selected by an expert panel of industry leaders from a shortlisted pool of 16 teams.
Apart from financial and logistic support, they will also receive training for six months, co-working space for a year, and networking and mentorship opportunities.
The best performing teams will also receive a scale-up funding up to Tk 1,500,000.
The YEC, an initiative under BYLC’s entrepreneurship development wing, is part of the organization’s efforts to nurture the passion of aspiring entrepreneurs with unique revenue generating business ideas by connecting them to the right tools and networks.