A pair of god-like hands emerged from a Venice canal. Here's how they got there.

On May 13, a pair of god-like hands emerged from the canals of Venice, Italy.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn.

The building that the arms — which are an art installation titled "Support" — appear to be propping up is the historic Ca' Sagredo Hotel. The sculpture is on display as part of the 2017 La Biennale di Venezia, an annual art exhibition.


The sculpture is pretty magnificent and setting it up was a pretty big undertaking. Here's some of the incredible photos showing just what it took to get bring "Support" to life. (By the way, some of the Instagram pictures are actually videos. Be sure to hit play.)

"Support" was created by renowned artist Lorenzo Quinn.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

The hands were built off-site by Quinn and his team.

Just how big are they? One fingertip is the size of Quinn's head.

To get to their final display location, the hands were loaded on boats.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

What did you expect? This is Venice after all.

Navigating the narrow canals with the hands on board was no easy feat.

But they made it to Ca' Sagredo in one piece.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

Once there, cranes carefully maneuvered them into their final place against the hotel walls.

•SUPPORT• is here! The installation at the @ca_sagredo_venice #LorenzoQuinnVenice

A post shared by Halcyon Gallery (@halcyongallery) on

One down... one to go #venicebiennale2017 #halcyongallery #lorenzoquinn

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

Almost there...

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The hands symbolize humanity's power to reshape the world for good or ill.

On Instagram, Quinn wrote that he hopes "Support" will inspire people "to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. "

Yes!...so happy to say mission accomplished. 'SUPPORT' in Venice to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. Art in 'Support' of art: Venice is now the art capital of the world during the Venice Biennale but the city of art is threatened and needs our help and protection. ------A big thank you to the city of Venice and especially to its Mayor Luigi Brugnaro for believing in this installation from the beginning, to Ca' Sagredo hotel represented by Lorenza Lain (the force of Nature) to C and C architectural Studio, Fulvio Caputo, Marco Zanon, Ufficine delle Zattere, Luisa Flora, Tecmolde, Julio and Irene Luzan and the entire team, She Digital, Grupoo Orseolo with Rein srl and the Gondolieri of Venice. To my super team in Spain at Quinn Creations To my family, my wife and especially my son Anthony for letting me use his hands, and of course to @halcyongallery , representanted by Paul Green, Udi Sheleg and assisted by Shani, Helga and all in the gallery, because without their continued organizational, moral, artistic and financial 'support' none of this could have happened. #biennale2017venezia #biennale2017 #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #venezia #halcyongallery #support #supportart #climatechange

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"The hand holds so much power — the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy," said Quinn in a press release.

A big thank you to all for your comments and likes. It's been overwhelming. I wish I could thank each and everyone of you individually. This sculpture 'Support' placed in Venice at Ca' Sagredo, coinciding with the opening of the Venice Biennale, wants to speak to the people in a clear, simple and direct way through the innocent hands of a child and it evokes a powerful message which is that united we can make a stand to curb the climate change that affects us all. We must all collectively think of how we can protect our planet and by doing that we can protect our national heritage sites... Support our planet support our heritage! A warm hug, Lorenzo THE INSTALLATION WILL BE AT CA' SAGREDO UNTIL NOVEMBER 26th a #halcyongallery #casagredohotelvenice #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #biennale2017 #LorenzoQuinnVenice #support #supportart #worldheritage #worldheritagesite

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Venice is an amazing city, but it'll need people's support to survive into the future.

Image from Lorenzo Quinn,

"Venice is a floating art city that has inspired cultures for centuries," said Quinn. "But to continue to do so it needs the support of our generation and future ones, because it is threatened by climate change and time decay."

It's true. Climate change could end up sinking the historic city in less than a century — and Venice isn't the only city in this situation. In response, the city is currently working on a massive flood barrier.

Our history, and our future, truly is in our hands.

We just need to decide what we want to do with them.

By the way, if you want a hands-on project of your own, you can always plant a tree, pen a letter to Congress, or volunteer with your local museum or historical society. Just a thought!

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Judy Vaughan has spent most of her life helping other women, first as the director of House of Ruth, a safe haven for homeless families in East Los Angeles, and later as the Project Coordinator for Women for Guatemala, a solidarity organization committed to raising awareness about human rights abuses.

But in 1996, she decided to take things a step further. A house became available in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles and she was offered the opportunity to use it to help other women and children. So, in partnership with a group of 13 people who she knew from her years of activism, she decided to make it a transitional residence program for homeless women and their children. They called the program Alexandria House.

"I had learned from House of Ruth that families who are homeless are often isolated from the surrounding community," Judy says. "So we decided that as part of our mission, we would also be a neighborhood center and offer a number of resources and programs, including an after-school program and ESL classes."

She also decided that, unlike many other shelters in Los Angeles, she would accept mothers with their teenage boys.

"There are very few in Los Angeles [that do] due to what are considered liability issues," Judy explains. "Given the fact that there are (conservatively) 56,000 homeless people and only about 11,000 shelter beds on any one night, agencies can be selective on who they take."

Their Board of Directors had already determined that they should take families that would have difficulties finding a place. Some of these challenges include families with more than two children, immigrant families without legal documents, moms who are pregnant with other small children, families with a member who has a disability [and] families with service dogs.

"Being separated from your son or sons, especially in the early teen years, just adds to the stress that moms who are unhoused are already experiencing," Judy says.

"We were determined to offer women with teenage boys another choice."

Courtesy of Judy Vaughan

Alexandria House also doesn't kick boys out when they turn 18. For example, Judy says they currently have a mom with two daughters (21 and 2) and a son who just turned 18. The family had struggled to find a shelter that would take them all together, and once they found Alexandria House, they worried the boy would be kicked out on his 18th birthday. But, says Judy, "we were not going to ask him to leave because of his age."

Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles. "[It] is considered the homeless capital of the United States," Judy says. "The numbers have not changed significantly since 1984 when I was working at the House of Ruth." The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem. According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), over 66,000 people in the greater Los Angeles area were experiencing homelessness in 2020, representing a rise of 12.7% compared with the year before.

Each woman who comes to Alexandria House has her own unique story, but some common reasons for ending up homeless include fleeing from a domestic violence or human trafficking situation, aging out of foster care and having no place to go, being priced out of an apartment, losing a job, or experiencing a family emergency with no 'cushion' to pay the rent.

"Homelessness is not a definition; it is a situation that a person finds themselves in, and in fact, it can happen to almost anyone. There are many practices and policies that make it almost impossible to break out of poverty and move out of homelessness."

And that's why Alexandria House exists: to help them move out of it. How long that takes depends on the woman, but according to Judy, families stay an average of 10 months. During that time, the women meet with support staff to identify needs and goals and put a plan of action in place.

A number of services are provided, including free childcare, programs and mentoring for school-age children, free mental health counseling, financial literacy classes and a savings program. They have also started Step Up Sisterhood LA, an entrepreneurial program to support women's dreams of starting their own businesses. "We serve as a support system for as long as a family would like," Judy says, even after they have moved on.

And so far, the program is a resounding success.

92 percent of the 200 families who stayed at Alexandria House have found financial stability and permanent housing — not becoming homeless again.

Since founding Alexandria House 25 years ago, Judy has never lost sight of her mission to join with others and create a vision of a more just society and community. That is why she is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year — and the donation she receives as a nominee will go to Alexandria House and will help grow the new Start-up Sisterhood LA program.

"Alexandria House is such an important part of my life," says Judy. "It has been amazing to watch the children grow up and the moms recreate their lives for themselves and for their families. I have witnessed resiliency, courage, and heroic acts of generosity."

The difference between a politician and a public servant may be a matter of semantics, but when it comes to getting legislation passed that actually helps people, the contrast is stark.

Texas Representative James Talarico is on a mission to get his constituents the life-saving medicine they need. The 31-year-old lawmaker has just introduced legislation that would cap the price of insulin—a medicine people with type 1 diabetes need to live, which has become unaffordable for many—at $50 a month.

The mission is personal for Talarico, as he nearly died three years ago when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

He shared his story on Twitter:

"In May 2018, I was a healthy 28-year-old running for the Texas House. I decided to walk the entire length of my district and hold town halls along the way. I hike Big Bend every year, so I wasn't concerned about a 25 mile walk...

But halfway through the walk, I began feeling nauseous and fatigued. Before the town hall in Hutto, I vomited in the bathroom."

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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