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Electric Fountains and Frozen Bikers

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What's clicking on the blog, including video of an amazing new sculpture and a report from the human-powered Iditarod Trail Invitational.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Now, THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT is so agile that we can go from the streets of Manhattan to the trials of Alaska in four minutes flat. Put it on the clock, Jacob. We'll make it happen.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

You're good.

STEWART: Here to demonstrate is our Web editor Laura Conaway. Hi, Laura.

LAURA CONAWAY:

Good morning, how are you?

STEWART: You can have more than four minutes, if you want.

CONAWAY: Okay. We're going to start in Manhattan today, where people are just staring with their jaws dropped at this new sculpture in Rockefeller Center. It's called the Electric Fountain. It's big, it's blue, it's shimmery. It uses neon lights to sort of create the effect of water. We've got video of this miracle on our blog. And it's not what the creators Sue Webster and Tim Noble first thought they were going to make.

Ms. SUE NOBLE (Sculptor): We proposed a 30-foot love heart with a dagger going through it and blood dripping out of the end. And New York rejected it because they said New York wasn't ready for blood after 9/11. We were very disappointed. So we went back to the drawing board and came back with a fountain of electric love.

CONAWAY: I'm with that. I was here at 9/11; I'm not ready for the blood.

MARTIN: I don't really think it has anything to do with 9/11. (unintelligible) see that?

STEWART: A giant heart with a dagger through it? And blood?

CONAWAY: Forget it, not doing that.

MARTIN: Not so much.

CONAWAY: Okay, guys. Now, on to Alaska where we have a winner in the human- powered Iditarod Trail Invitational. Yesterday, this guy, Jay Petervary, made it to mile 350 in McGrath. There you meet up with a local couple, they take you into their house, they feed you. Jay made it the 350 miles in three days, 14 hours and 20 minutes.

MARTIN: Wow.

CONAWAY: He walked through the last night to McGrath. And it sounds like it was a haul.

Mr. JAY PETERVARY (Winner, Iditarod Trail Invitational): You could see the lights in McGrath pretty far away. But when it takes many hours to get there, it was a bit of a battle. It was negative 20 last night.

MARTIN: Oh, my.

Mr. PETERVARY: I think within, I don't know, maybe three minutes of being here I had a hot cocoa with whipped crème, with lasagna, with bread, with fresh lettuce. And I believe ended up having a few plates of that before I actually could even think of what I was doing here.

CONAWAY: Now, Jay said that he do so well partly because he slept at least a little bit each night.

MARTIN: That helps.

CONAWAY: That helps, right? It becomes important when you hear what we say from runner Jeff Rose(ph) who talked to us a few times leading up to the race. He took off like a shot through the first hundred-plus miles, and then he had to quit the race because his ankles failed him. And now he's sitting in Anchorage. He's waiting for news of his girlfriend, cyclist Jill Homer. She had also been burning up the trail. And then she holed-up in this one checkpoint at Rome with mile 210 for a really long time. It seems like she's on her way again. But Jeff, he's just trying to sort through what little he can glean from postings and also what he heard from people at earlier checkpoints.

Mr. JEFF ROSE (Runner, Iditarod Trail Invitational): They all told me the same thing. They all said she looks great, she had a big smile on her face, she seems strong, but she didn't sleep. Based on kind of the information that's out there, it appears as though she should have been into Rome over - or around - 36 hours ago now. And then it just showed up an hour ago that she's actually finally left. And I don't know, you know, that could easily just be a lack of communication and those aren't the actual facts, or it could be that she has had some trouble. But if she has it's apparently nothing that's stopped her, so...

CONAWAY: She's on her way. And we hope that she's going to go ahead and pull into McGrath this morning. The weather's cold. It's about minus 10, but it's clear. We're following the race on the blog. If she doesn't make it in this morning, pretty soon, there's to be some questions.

STEWART: All right. Well, we'll be following the race and Jill's progress on the blog. Everybody keep your fingers crossed for her. Laura Conaway edits our Web site. We're always online at npr.org/bryantpark and twitter.com/bpp.

(Soundbite of music)

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