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Can a few bad apples be a good thing?A new exhibit inside the Glass Flowers gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History proves the answer is yes.The 78 delicate creations of “Rotten Apples,” only a few of which have been out of storage this century, are part of the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants. Mixed in with the bunch are pears, plums, and apricots.“When I was a kid, this was an apple I’d eat, I didn’t care about the scabbing,” said conservator Scott E. Fulton, making final repairs to an apple cataloged as “839 Malus pumila.”An orchard apple branch with sooty mold on the leaves, caused by the fungus Capnodium salicinum. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“The details are so natural — right down to the capillaries on the leaf.”Father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka created more than 4,000 glass models of 780 plant species between 1886 and 1936. Fulton, along with Glass Flowers manager Jennifer Brown, spent months preparing the apples for exhibition.The conservator, who has worked with the Glass Flowers for 21 years, said restoring the apples to exhibit-worthy condition meant grappling with the effects of age and, at times, lingering damage from the days when storage and exhibit spaces were kept warm by coal-fired furnaces.Jennifer Brown, collection manager, prepares an orchard apple with brown rot, caused by the fungus Monilinia fructigena. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerHe pointed to some white spotting on the leaves of an apple branch.“It looks like the disease, but it’s not. It’s a lead salt that migrates during the more humid months and crystallizes on the surface when the air dries during the heating season. That can be very problematic.”To remove soot and dirt without losing the vibrant color of the models, Fulton used a mineral spirit. In addition, he created what he called acrylic resin “slurries” pigmented to match the natural colors of green earth and yellow ocher. The resin slurries also reinforce and consolidate the glass.Scott Fulton, conservator, carefully restores the sooty mold piece. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerYork Imperial, Alexander, Russet, Cox’s Pomona, and English Pearmain are among the fruit varieties on display. Diseases include fungal rot from an Aspergillus species, brown rot caused by the fungus Monilinia fructigena, and Brooks fruit spot from Mycosphaerella pomi. Sixteen wax models from the Economic Botany collection of the University Herbaria are also part of the show.“People love the Glass Flowers, but this makes the exhibit more dynamic, and gives them more reason to come back,” Brown said.
Mike Ashley is not actively looking to sell Newcastle. Press Association Above all else, Ashley is a businessman and the chance to make a profit on a club in which he has since invested in excess of a further £130million is one which would prove difficult to resist. However, the fact remains that there are no offers on the table and none in the pipeline. Ashley has, of course, twice tried to sell Newcastle – once in the wake of Kevin Keegan’s departure from his second spell as manager, and then again following relegation from the Barclays Premier League at the end of the 2008-09 season with fans in open revolt on both occasions. However, at neither point did any party come remotely close to clinching a deal despite fevered speculation, with even an ill-fated mission to the cash-rich Middle East failing to smoke out a buyer. Having taken the club off the market for the second time in October 2009 with then manager Chris Hughton and his players engaged in what would prove to be a successful battle to drag it back into the top flight at the first attempt, Ashley drew a line in the sand and set about the task of rebuilding it. The watchword for he and managing director Derek Llambias was “stability”, and although the going has been far from smooth – the decisions to rename St James’ Park as the Sports Direct Arena and to strike a sponsorship deal with payday loans company Wonga were particularly badly received – the trend was largely upward until last season. Newcastle finished fifth and won a return to European football at the end of the 2001-12 campaign, but struggled over the line in 16th place 12 months later with manager Alan Pardew baring the brunt of supporter frustration, but Ashley and Llambias finding themselves in the firing line too over their distinctly limited involvement in the transfer window. However, a new pantomime villain strode on to the stage when Joe Kinnear was handed the role of director of football, prompting Llambias’ exit. Several hundred supporters attended a meeting on Monday at which a motion was passed calling on Ashley to get out. But until such time as a sizeable cheque is sitting in the billionaire’s bank account, he will continue. The sportswear tycoon’s critics were boosted on Wednesday by a report claiming the club is on the market once again. However, Press Association Sport understands that while any prospective buyer could open the door to a deal by tabling a suitable offer, Ashley is not attempting to offload the business he bought six years ago as a matter of urgency. Indeed, that has been the situation since the day he completed a £134.4million takeover during the summer of 2007.