Ick-factor: London fatberg goes from sewer to museum

In this photograph, the only remaining piece of the 130 ton, 250 meter long fatberg, removed from the sewers in east London, is displayed during a media preview at the Museum of London.(AP)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Ick-factor: London fatberg goes from sewer to museum

LONDON: London’s newest museum attraction is greasy, smelly — and a glimpse at the hidden underside of urban life.
The Museum of London is displaying part of a 130 metric-ton (143 US-ton) fatberg that was blasted out of a city sewer last year.
It took sewage workers weeks to dislodge the 250-meter-long (820-foot-long) mass of oil, fat, diapers and baby wipes from beneath the city’s East End.
The museum has preserved an air-dried chunk, about the size of a shoebox, whose mottled consistency a curator likens to parmesan crossed with moon rock.
Curator Vyki Sparkes said Thursday that the fatberg is “disgusting and fascinating. And that’s what’s been great to work with. It has this impact on people.”
The fatberg is on display from Friday until July 1. Admission is free.


Who is Mahershala Ali? The rise of the Oscar-nominated actor

Mahershala Ali has been nominated for an Oscar. (AFP)
Updated 24 January 2019
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Who is Mahershala Ali? The rise of the Oscar-nominated actor

DUBAI: Movie geeks are abuzz for this year’s Academy Awards, following revelations that several nominees could make history for the 91-year-old ceremony.

Among them, Mahershala Ali could win an Oscar for his performance in “Green Book,” and become the fastest star to win two awards in the same category.

The 44-year-old won Best Supporting Actor in 2017 for “Moonlight” when he again made history as the first Muslim to triumph in the category.

Ali, born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore to a Christian mother in Oakland, California in 1974, converted to Islam in 1999.

“It just felt like a life sign. I’d come from sports, so I appreciated the discipline that the religion requires. For me, it was a way of living more deliberately,” said Ali.

He added, in an interview with British magazine the Radio Times: “I felt I was connecting to something that was making my physical experience more peaceful.”

Hollywood has been criticized recently for its lack of diversity, and more and more actors have become increasingly vocal about the Academy’s need to better represent US society.

Winners in the past have often used their acceptance speeches to talk about race, identity and other contentious issues.

When Ali received an award for “Moonlight” at the 2017 Screen Actors’ Guild Awards, he addressed being Muslim and his relationship with his Christian mother.

“My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do back flips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago,” he said.

But he discounted the idea that differing faiths need drive people apart, highlighting how their differences never hurt their relationship, saying: “We love each other. The love has grown.”

Ali kicked off his career in the early noughties, after graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After completing his education, Ali was cast in a small indie film, “Making Revolution” (2003), and went on to earn small roles in TV shows before he scored a role in 2008’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” alongside Brad Pitt. After earning an Emmy nomination in 2016 for his part on Netflix show “House of Cards,” Ali took on a variety of roles and appears in the latest season of “True Detective” as the lead character.