Engineers attach part of a pinnacle from the National Cathedral to be lowered by a crane for repairs. Three of the four pinnacles on this tower were damaged in the Aug. 23 earthquake that hit the D.C. region.
A little rain has not dampened efforts to repair the National Cathedral, something that's been a heavy duty endeavor. Outside the cathedral today, a 500-foot crane lowers a massive stone pinnacle from the very top of spire to the ground.
Standing nearby, stonemason Joe Alonso watches its progress. The 2-ton pinnacle shifted considerably during the Aug. 23 earthquake, and its removal is necessary to repair it, he says. "I didn’t want to be up there breaking it, drilling it, jack-hammering it, whatever it is we were going to do to it to take them apart, because there's eight other stones beneath that that are loose," he says.
Alonso says those stones weigh about 800 pounds apiece and will also be craned down. The removal of stones from two of the pinnacles is expected to be complete by tomorrow. "And then the rebuilding can begin," he adds.
That rebuilding will cost at least $15 million and take a decade. Alonso says that’s because artisans have to repair the more intricate stonework. The Gothic-style cathedral is expected to reopen sometime in November.
Rudy Kurniawan, once considered one of the world's most formidable wine collectors, was convicted Wednesday of making cheap wine blends in his house and then passing them off as some of the rarest wines in the world, for thousands of dollars each, at auction.
People now have until January 10 to pay for their first month of coverage through the health exchanges. But people using the federal exchange still have to get signed up by Dec. 23. Some states have pushed deadlines even later.
Along with submissions for our Weekly Innovation post, we've also received ideas for things that haven't been created yet, things that NPR readers want to see become a reality (like reversible tattoos or steering wheel fans). As we look ahead to 2014, here are our favorite ideas of the past year.
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