Thursday, April 30, 2009


German schoolgirl Annika Irmler has licked her way into the Guinness Book of Records with her whopping seven centimetre tongue. The twelve-year-old from Tangstedt, near Hamburg, can lick the ice cream from the bottom of a cornet - while her friends have to use their fingers.



This is one of the entries from the Guinness World
Records book. The record is held by Kim Goodman, a woman who is able to pop her eyes out of her eye sockets. She discovered her talent when she was hit on the head with a hockey mask and her eyeballs popped out. Ever since she can do this when yawning or voluntarily - “I sort of squint, pull my eyelid back and out it comes,” Goodman explained.
On June 13, 1998 being on the set of the television show Guinness World Records, she had her popped eyeballs measured, having a length of 11 mm (0.43 in). It seems that she has perfect vision and has never seen a doctor about her condition.
Before establishing the world record, Kim Goodman auditioned for David Letterman’s Stupid Human Tricks and made the witnesses scream, when they saw what she can accomplish. This got her on the Late Show with David Letterman Video Special III, where she was introduced as an act “you will talk about until the day you die.”
Below is a short movie from a Turkish television channel where you can see how Kim Goodman is popping her eyes out of their sockets.

However it seems is not that easy to keep this record. Apparently other people have this talent and Claudio Paulo Pinto from Brazil is one of them.Paulo can pop his eyeballs out of their sockets at least 7 millimeters (0.3 inches), that’s 95% out of their sockets.

Claudio suffers from globe luxation and from what he tells it doesn’t hurt a bit. The medical explanation is that blood vessels and nerves are strained between the eyes and the head. You can see better in the movie, however this might not be so pleasant for some of you.


There are a number of women (and men) who have some pretty long hair, but there is only one who currently holds the record for the longest hair in the world! According to Guinness World Records, the current world recorder holder for the longest hair is Xie Qiuping (China). Ms. Qiuping's hair measures 5.627 m (18 ft 5.54 in). Details below:
Xie Qiuping
18 ft. 5.54 inches (5.627 cm)
Guangxi Province, China
Date of Record:
May 8, 2004
Xie started growing her hair when she was 13 (1973). She keeps her long hair clean and looking beautiful. Her hair is so long, she has an assistant to help carry it when she walks. Do you have the patience and time to grow your hair out for over 30 years? If so, you could be the next record holder for the world's longest hair.
The record holder for the longest hair in the men's category is
Tran Van Hay. Mr. Hay hasn't cut his hair for over 42 years and while his is not as silky and beautiful as Xie Quiping's, he definitely has an interesting style!


Here are some Mathematical problems that Hazrat Ali (A.S.) solved,while he was Khalifa. He was known for his mathematical genius. Enjoy reading them: >One Day a person came to Ali (A.S.), thinking that since Ali (A.S.) thinks he is too smart, I'll ask him such a tough question that he won't be able to answer it and I'll have the chance to embarrass him in front of all the Arabs. He asked "Ali, tell me a number, that if we divide it by any number from 1-10 the answer will always come in the form of a whole number and not as a fraction." Ali Looked back at him and said, "Take the number of days in a year and multiply it with the number of days in a week and you will have your answer." The person got astonished but as he was a Mushrik he still didn't believe Ali (A.S.). He calculated the answer Ali (AS) gave him. To his amazement he came across the following results: >The number of Days in a Year = 360 (in Arabic Calendar) >The Number of Days in a Week = 7 >The product of the two numbers = 2520 >Now ... 2520 ?= 2520 >2520 ?= 1260 >2520 ?= 840 >2520 ?= 630 >2520 ?= 504 >2520 ?= 420 >2520 ?= 360 >2520 ?= 315 >2520 ?= 280 >2520 ?= 252 .A person was about to die, and before dying he wrote his Will which went as follows ... >"I have 17 Camels, and I have three sons. Divide my Camels in >such a way, that My eldest son gets half of them, the second >one gets 1/3rd of the total and my youngest son gets 1/9th of >the total number of Camels"After his death when the relatives read his will they got extremely perplexed and said to each other that how can we divide 17 camels like this. So after a long hard thought they decided that there was only one man in Arabia who could help them: "Ali Ibne Abi Taalib(A.S.)." So they all came to the door of Ali ((A.S.) and put forward their problem. Ali ((A.S.) said, "Ok. I will divide the camels as per the man's will." Ali (A.S.) said, "I will lend one of my camels to the total which makes it >18 (17+1=18), now lets divide as per his will" >The Eldest gets 1/2 of 18 = 9 >The second one gets 1/3 of 18 = 6 >and The Youngest gets 1/9 of 18 = 2 >Now the total number of camels = 17 >.....Then Ali (A.S.) said, "Now I will take my Camel back ".......


Malcolm X (born May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz[1] (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز ‎), was an African American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. His detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence.He has been described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.
Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. By the time he was 13, his father had died and his mother had been committed to a mental hospital. His childhood, including his father's lessons concerning black pride and self-reliance and his own experiences concerning race, played a significant role in Malcolm X's adult life. After living in a series of foster homes, Malcolm X became involved in the criminal underworld in Boston and New York. In 1945, Malcolm X was sentenced to eight to ten years in prison.
While in prison, Malcolm X became a member of the
Nation of Islam. After his parole in 1952, he became one of the Nation's leaders and chief spokesmen. For nearly a dozen years, he was the public face of the Nation of Islam. Tension between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, head of the Nation of Islam, led to Malcom X's departure from the organization in March 1964.
After leaving the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X became a
Sunni Muslim and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. He traveled extensively throughout Africa and the Middle East. He founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., a religious organization, and the secular, black nationalist Organization of Afro-American Unity. Less than a year after he left the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X was assassinated while giving a speech in New York.

In September 1960,
Fidel Castro arrived in New York to attend the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. He and his entourage stayed at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem. Malcolm X was a prominent member of a Harlem-based welcoming committee made up of community leaders who met with Castro.Castro was so impressed by Malcolm X that he requested a private meeting with him.During the General Assembly meeting, Malcolm X was also invited to many official embassy functions sponsored by African nations, where he met heads of state and other leaders, including Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, and Kenneth Kaunda of the Zambian African National Congress.


It was announced earlier this year, words said that Nokia is going to release the E75 business phone this month. The E75 is a first device to ship with the new email user interface, offering full desktop email functionality, and complete integration of Nokia’s email and messaging services. It has both QWERTY and numeric keypad and also the first Eseries that support Nokia’s game service N-Gage. Check out the full specifications after the break.
Nokia E75 Specifications
• System: WCDMA 850/1900/2100
• WCDMA 900/1900/2100
• GSM/EGSM 850/900/1800/1900
• User Interface: S60 platform
• Dimensions: 111.8 mm x 50 mm x 14.4 mm
• Weight: 139 g
• Standby time: Up to 11 days (GSM), 11 days (WCDMA)
• Talk time: Up to 5.4hours (GSM), 4.2 hours (WCDMA)
• Main display: 2.4” QVGA (320×240), up to 16 million colors
• Battery: BL-4U, 1000 mAh, Li-Po
• Memory: Up to 50 MB internal memory, 4 GB card on board, support for up to 16 GB microSD memory card
• Camera 3.2 megapixels (2048 x 1536 pixels)
• Video capture: Video recording in VGA quality
• HSDPA class 6 up to 3.6Mbits
• 384 kbps uplink
• WLAN (IEEE 802.11b/g)
• EGPRS multislot class 32, max download 296 kbps; upload 177.6 kbps
• High-Speed micro USB 2.0 which supports charging
• Bluetooth wireless technology 2.0 with A2DP stereo audio, enhanced data rates (EDR)
• 3.5 mm AV connector


This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of inauguration. To those who appreciate engineering projects, here's a puzzle for you armchair engineers and physicists. Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or just the weight of the water?Answer: It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of the water! Why? A ship always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship, regardless of how heavily a ship may be loaded.


On September, 16th the historical meeting of the smallest of the man He Pingping with longest legs Girl Svetlana Pankratovoj. Svetlana is 16 years old and Pinpina is 36 years old he is 73 centimeters tall.
The meeting of two champions of the Book of records passed in London



Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Dinosaurs, one of the most successful groups of animals (in terms of longevity) that have ever lived, evolved into many diverse sizes and shapes, with many equally diverse modes of living. The term "Dinosauria" was invented by Sir Richard Owen in 1842 to describe these "fearfully great reptiles," specifically Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus, the only three dinosaurs known at the time. The creatures that we normally think of as dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic Era, from late in the Triassic period (about 225 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (about 65 million years ago). But we now know that they actually live on today as the birds.

Some things to keep in mind about dinosaurs:
• Not everything big and dead is a dinosaur. All too often, books written (or movies made) for a popular audience include animals such as mammoths, mastodons, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and the sail-backed Dimetrodon. Dinosaurs are a specific subgroup of the
archosaurs, a group that also includes crocodiles, pterosaurs, and birds. although pterosaurs are close relations, they are not true dinosaurs. Even more distantly related to dinosaurs are the marine reptiles, which include the plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. Mammoths and mastodons are mammals and did not appear until many millions of years after the close of the Cretaceous period. Dimetrodon is neither a reptile nor a mammal, but a basal synapsid, i.e., an early relative of the ancestors of mammals.
• Not all dinosaurs lived at the same time. Different dinosaurs lived at different times. Despite the portrayals in movies like King Kong and Jurassic Park, no Stegosaurus ever saw a Tyrannosaurus, because Tyrannosaurus didn't appear on the scene until 80 or so million years following the extinction of stegosaurs. The same goes for Apatosaurus ("Brontosaurus") — it's bones were already well-fossilized by the time T. rex came along.
• Dinosaurs are not extinct. Technically. Based on features of the skeleton, most people studying dinosaurs consider
birds to be dinosaurs. This shocking realization makes even the smallest hummingbird a legitimate dinosaur. So rather than refer to "dinosaurs" and birds as discrete, separate groups, it is best to refer to the traditional, extinct animals as "non-avian dinosaurs" and birds as, well, birds, or "avian dinosaurs." It is incorrect to say that dinosaurs are extinct, because they have left living descendants in the form of cockatoos, cassowaries, and their pals — just like modern vertebrates are still vertebrates even though their Cambrian ancestors are long extinct.


Over the Earth's long history, there have been a number of times when much of the northern hemisphere was covered by vast sheets of ice and snow. Such periods are known as ice ages. During ice ages, huge masses of slowly moving glacial ice—up to two kilometres (one mile) thick—scoured the land like cosmic bulldozers. At the peak of the last glaciation, about 20 000 years ago, approximately 97% of Canada was covered by ice.
It may seem hard to believe, but an ice age can occur if the average daily temperature drops by only a few degrees Celsius for an extensive period. Ice ages include colder and warmer fluctuations. During colder intervals, called glacial periods, glaciers and ice sheets grow and advance. (As the snow gets deeper and deeper, the lower portion turns to ice and its incredible weight makes the ice sheet flow across the land). In warmer intervals, known as interglacial periods, glaciers and ice sheets shrink and retreat.
The Earth is in an ice age now. It started about 2 million years ago and is known as the
Quaternary Period. Despite the many warm periods since then, we identify the entire time as one ice age because of the continuous existence of at least one large ice sheet—the one over Antarctica. (The glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet are also of long standing, but they are more recent). We are currently enjoying a warm interval: our climate represents an interglacial period that began about 10 000 years ago. The preceding glacial period lasted about 80 000 years.
At least seven ice ages have been recognized. At least four of them are considered significant because of the extent of their glaciation or because they lasted for an extremely long time:
about 2 million years ago to the present—the Quaternary Ice Age
350 to 250 million years ago—the Karoo Ice Age
800 to 600 million years ago—the Cryogenian (or Sturtian-Varangian) Ice Age
2400 to 2100 million years ago—the Huronian Ice Age.
Some regions escaped glaciation during the
Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Ice Age because they were too dry for enough snow to fall to form glaciers. Other regions were too high in elevation for the ice to cover them, or they were farther south than the glaciers advanced. Glacier-free zones are called refugia, and the plants and animals that survived there repopulated the land once the glaciers melted. During the Pleistocene, the distribution and kinds of plants and animals were greatly affected.
In Canada, the richest stores of Pleistocene bones are in Yukon's Old Crow Basin—part of the
Eastern Beringian refugium. There, thousands of fossils have been collected that demonstrate the existence of a remarkable fauna, including woolly mammoths, bison, mastodons, giant beavers, small horses, camels, cow-sized ground sloths, American scimitar cats and lions. These species became extinct toward the close of the Pleistocene—perhaps due to a combination of rapidly changing climate and human hunting. However, wolves, caribou, muskoxen, moose and other animals survived.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson has such an intimate bond with big cats that he can spend the night curled up with them without the slightest fear of attack.
Richardson, 32, who is based in a wildlife conservation area near Johannesburg in South Africa, works his unusual magic on other species too. Cheetahs, leopards and even unpredictable hyenas hold no threats for him.
This adult male is comfortable enough with animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson to permit a gentle kiss

So instinctively in tune is he with these beasts, whose teeth are sharp enough to bite through thick steel, that mother hyenas even allow him to hold their newborn cubs without pouncing to the rescue.
But lions are his favourite. He lavishes them with unconditional love, he says, treating each individual differently, speaking to them, caressing them and, above all, treating them with respect.
Five-year-old females Meg and Amy see Kevin as one of their own

A former student of human physiology who once worked with pre and post-operative human patients, Kevin turned to animals ten years ago when he came to the conclusion that he could trust a lion over one of his own kind every time - well, nearly every time.
A close encounter with an aggressive four-year-old male in the early days taught him a lesson he has not forgotten. The animal pinned him to the ground and started biting him until something about Kevin's passive attitude stopped him in his tracks.
Kevin rolls around with Tau and Napoleon, two adult brother lions

Kevin says he is most confident with animals he has known since birth, but claims he can become close friends with any lion less than a year old, when it is still flexible enough to accept him as part of its own pride.
"I have to rely on my own instincts to gauge an animal or a situation, and I will not approach a creature if something doesn't feel right," he says.
"I don't use sticks, whips or chains, just patience. It may be dangerous, but this is a passion for me, not a job."
Cuddles and love bites are all part of 'play' fighting.


Stephen Robert Irwin (22 February 1962 – 4 September 2006), known simply as Steve Irwin and nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an iconic Australian television personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist. He achieved worldwide fame from the television program The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series co-hosted with his wife Terri Irwin. Together, they also co-owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by his parents in Beerwah, Queensland. He died in 2006 after being fatally pierced in the chest by a stingray barb whilst filming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship MV Steve Irwin was named in his honour, christened by his wife Terri, who said "If Steve were alive, he'd be aboard with them!".

Early years of life
Born on his mother's birthday
to Lyn and Bob Irwin in Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Irwin moved with his parents as a child to Queensland in 1970. Irwin described his father as a wildlife expert interested in herpetology whilst his mother Lyn was a wildlife rehabilitator. After moving to Queensland, Bob and Lyn Irwin started the small Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, where Steve grew up around crocodiles and other reptiles.
Irwin became involved with the park in a number of ways, including taking part in daily animal feeding, as well as care and maintenance activities. On his sixth birthday he was given a 12-foot (4 m)
scrub python. He began handling crocodiles at the age of nine after his father had educated him on reptiles from an early age. Also at age nine he wrestled his first crocodile, again under his father's supervision. He graduated from Caloundra State High School in 1979. He soon moved to Northern Queensland, where he became a crocodile trapper, removing crocodiles from populated areas where they were considered a danger. He performed the service for free with the quid pro quo that he be allowed to keep them for the park. Irwin followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a volunteer for the Queensland Government's East Coast Crocodile Management program.


Rise to fame

Irwin feeding a crocodile at Australia Zoo.

Look up crikey in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The park was a family run business, until it was turned over to Steve. He took over the running of the park, now called Australia Zoo (renaming it in 1992). Also that year, he appeared in a one-off reptile and wildlife special for television. In 1991, he met
Terri Raines at the park, whilst performing a demonstration. The two married in June 1992, in Terri's hometown of Eugene, Oregon. The footage, shot by John Stainton, of their crocodile-trapping honeymoon became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter. The series debuted on Australian TV screens in 1996, and by the following year had made its way onto North American television. The Crocodile Hunter became successful in the United States and also, after repackaging by Partridge Films for ITV, in the UK. In 1998, he continued, working with producer and director Mark Strickson, to present The Ten Deadliest Snakes in the World. By 1999, he had become very popular in the United States, making his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. By this time, the Crocodile Hunter series was broadcast in over 137 countries, reaching 500 million people. His exuberant and enthusiastic presenting style, broad Australian accent, signature khaki shorts, and catchphrase "Crikey!" became known worldwide. Sir David Attenborough praised Irwin for introducing many to the natural world, saying "He taught them how wonderful and exciting it was, he was a born communicator."
Under Irwin's leadership, the operations grew to include the zoo, the television series, the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation (renamed Wildlife Warriors), and the International Crocodile Rescue. Improvements to the Australia Zoo include the Animal Planet Crocoseum, the rainforest aviary and Tiger Temple. Irwin mentioned that he was considering opening an Australia Zoo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and possibly at other sites around the world.

In 2001, Irwin appeared in a
cameo role in the Eddie Murphy film Dr. Dolittle 2, in which a crocodile warns Dolittle that he knows Irwin is going to grab him and is prepared to attack when he does, but Dolittle fails to warn Irwin in time. Irwin's only starring feature film role was in 2002's The Crocodile Hunter; Collision Course, which was released to mixed reviews. In the film Irwin (who portrayed himself and performed numerous stunts) mistakes some CIA agents for poachers. He sets out to stop them from capturing a crocodile, which, unknown to him, has actually swallowed a tracking transmitter. The film won the Best Family Feature Film award for a comedy film at the Young Artist Awards. The film was produced on a budget of about $12 million, and has grossed $33 million. To promote the film, Irwin was featured in an animated short produced by Animax Entertainment for Intermix.
In 2002, the Irwins appeared in the Wiggles video/DVD release Wiggly Safari, which was set in Irwin's Australia Zoo. It featured Irwin-themed songs written and performed by the Wiggles such as "Crocodile Hunter", "Australia Zoo", "Snakes (You can look but you better not touch)" and "We're The Crocodile Band". Irwin was featured prominently on the cover and throughout the movie.
In 2006, Irwin provided his voice for the 2006
animated film Happy Feet, as an elephant seal named Trev. The film was dedicated to Irwin, as he died during post-production. Another, previously incomplete scene, featuring Steve providing the voice of an Albatross and essentially playing himself, was restored to the DVD release.

Animal Planet and later projects
Animal Planet ended The Crocodile Hunter with a series finale entitled "Steve's Last Adventure." The last Crocodile Hunter documentary spanned three hours with footage of Irwin's across-the-world adventure in locations including the Himalayas, the Yangtze River, Borneo, and the Kruger National Park. Irwin went on to star in other Animal Planet documentaries, including The Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, and New Breed Vets.
As a part of the United States' "Australia Week" celebrations in January 2006, Irwin appeared at the
Pauley Pavilion, UCLA in Los Angeles, California. During an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Irwin announced that Discovery Kids would be developing a show for his daughter, Bindi Sue Irwin. The show, Jungle Girl, was tipped to be similar to The Wiggles movies, with songs that surround a story. A feature-length episode of Australian kids TV show The Wiggles entitled "Wiggly Safari" appears dedicated to Irwin, and he's featured in it heavily with his wife and daughter. The show includes the song "Crocodile Hunter, Big Steve Irwin".
In 2006, the American network
The Travel Channel had begun to show a series of specials starring Irwin and his family as they travelled on cross-country tours.

MIrwin was also involved in several media campaigns. He enthusiastically joined with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to promote Australia's strict quarantine/customs requirements, with advertisements and posters featuring slogans such as, "Quarantine Matters! Don't muck with it". His payments for these advertising campaigns were directed into his wildlife fund.
In 2004, he was appointed ambassador for The Ghan, the passenger train running from Adelaide to Alice Springs in the central Australian outback, when the line was extended all the way to Darwin on the northern coast that year. For some time he was sponsored by Toyota.
He was also a keen promoter for Australian tourism in general and Queensland tourism in particular. In 2002, the Australia Zoo was voted Queensland's top tourist attraction. His immense popularity in the United States meant he often promoted Australia as a tourist destination there.

In 2001, Irwin was awarded the
Centenary Medal for his "service to global conservation and to Australian tourism".[15] In 2004, he was recognised as Tourism Export of the Year.[16] He was also nominated in 2004 for Australian of the Year, an honour which was won by Australian Cricket Captain Steve Waugh. Shortly before his death, he was to be named an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland's School of Integrative Biology.[17] On 14 November 2007 Irwin was awarded the adjunct professorship posthumously by the University of Queensland.[18] In May 2007, the Rwandan Government announced that it would name a baby gorilla after Steve Irwin as a tribute to his work in wildlife conservation.[19] The Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre in Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary was named by the Kerala government after late Steve Irwin.

See also:
Wildlife Warriors
Irwin was a passionate conservationist and believed in promoting environmentalism by sharing his excitement about the natural world rather than preaching to people. He was concerned with conservation of endangered animals and land clearing leading to loss of habitat. He considered conservation to be the most important part of his work: "I consider myself a wildlife warrior. My mission is to save the world's endangered species."[13] Irwin bought "large tracts of land" in Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the United States, which he described as "like national parks" and stressed the importance of people realising that they could each make a difference.[21]
He had urged people to take part in considerate tourism and not support illegal poaching through the purchase of items such as turtle shells or shark-fin soup.[22]
He founded the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation, which was later renamed Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, and became an independent charity. He was described after his death by the CEO of RSPCA Queensland as a "modern-day Noah," and British naturalist David Bellamy lauded his skills as a natural historian and media performer.[23] Irwin and his father discovered a new species of turtle that now bears his name, Elseya irwini — Irwin's Turtle — a species of turtle found on the coast of Queensland.[24]
He also helped to found a number of other projects, such as the International Crocodile Rescue, as well as the Lyn Irwin Memorial Fund, in memory of his mother (who was in a fatal car crash in 2000), with proceeds going to the Iron Bark Station Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Irwin, however, was criticised for having an unsophisticated view of
conservation in Australia

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Edgar MüllerAt the cutting edge of 3D pavement art is german artist Edgar Müller. His creations transform everyday locations into fantastical scenes: sharks erupting from pavements, chasms bisecting suburban, streets and rivers cascading through towns.


Tiger's Nest Monastery (Bhutan)Taktshang :is the most famous of monasteries in Bhutan. It hangs on a cliff at 3,120 metres (10,200 feet), some 700 meters (2,300 feet) above the bottom of Paro valley. Famous visitors include Ngawang Namgyal in the 17th century and Milarepa. The name means "Tiger's nest", the legend being that Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew there on the back of a tiger. The monastery includes seven temples which can all be visited. The monastery suffered several blazes and is a recent restoration. Climbing to the monastery is on foot or mule.


Produced by the emergence of heated groundwater from the earth's crust, they are located all over the earth, on every continent and even under the oceans and seas. Many were created between 20 and 45 million years ago as a result of violent volcanic activity, and can reach up to 350°C (662°F). Meet some of the most fascinating Hot Spring on planet earth.
America's largest hot spring and third largest in the world, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is about 250 by 300 feet (75 by 91 meters) in size and 160 feet (49 meters) deep, discharging an estimated 560 gallons (2000 liters) of 160°F (71°C) water/minute. The vivid colors in the spring ranging from green to brilliant red and orange are the result of algae and pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water, the amount of color dependant on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids produced by the organisms. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat.


A zebroid (also zebra mule and zebrule) is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and any other equine: essentially, a zebra hybrid. In most cases, the sire is a zebra stallion. Offspring of a donkey sire and zebra mare, called a zebra hinny, do exist but are rare. Zebroids have been bred since the 19th century.The zebroid showed in the picture above, Eclyse, is a very unusual one, because of her coloring. With her über distinct makings, it's really hard not think she's a Photoshop mock-up.


Thomas Beatie, a former Hawaiian beauty queen, was born female but underwent sex change surgery in order to wed his partner Nancy legally. As part of the reassignment procedure, the former Tracy LaGondino took male hormones, inducing a beard and an outwardly masculine appearance. He kept his womb and ovaries intact in the hopes of one day having a child. Wife Nancy is infertile. So when Beatie announced he was expecting the child, of an anonymous sperm donor, a backlash ensued. Critics claimed that as a natural-born woman Beatie was not in fact a man but was merely masquerading as one. But the state of Oregon legally recognizes him as one, and his marriage to Nancy is official and the couple enjoys all the rights and privileges of typical married pairs. He gave birth to his first kid naturally following a 40-hour labor. And now he's pregnant again; his second baby is due June 12, 2009.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Location:The Statue of Liberty stands on Ellis Island, New York, USA.
History:The statue was designed by Frederic Bartholdi and completed in 1876.
Description:It stands at more than 93 meters tall.


Rising from the Pacific 600 miles west of Ecuador are arid islands whose name, for obvious reasons, is a Spanish word for tortoises. Indeed, the Galapagos islands are famous for tortoises weighing hundreds of pounds. What many people don't know, though, is that fascinating creatures also live in an undersea realm offshore.
Describing the contrast between the islands and their underwater bounty in a the 1924 book of, Galapagos: World's End, William Beebe wrote: "Host of sally-lightfoots [tidal crabs] were the most brilliant spots of color above the water in the islands, putting to shame the dull, drab hues of the terrestrial organisms and hinting at the glories of colorful animal life beneath the surface of the sea. "
Four currents converge in Galapagos waters: the Peru or Humboldt to from the south, the Equatorial from the West, the North Equatorial, and the Panama. Fish and invertebrates from different oceans and habitat ride these currents and quickly make themselves at home along the rocky shores, on a sandy sea bottom, and in the mangrove forests of the Galapagos.
Among the most playful creatures here are the sea lions. Slicing through the water at dazzling speed, they sometimes perform an underwater ballet of sorts, twisting, turning, stretching, and arching their sleek bodies amid clouds of plankton. A sea lion will swim just inches from a diver's mask as if approaching for a kiss, or it will nibble at a swim fin or embrace the diver with its flippers, all the while maintaining eye contact-a technique that requires incredible flexibility and agility.
A sea monster the size of a school bus also lives in Galapagos waters: the whale shark. Largest fish in the sea, it eats plankton and fish strained from the water by its wide mouth. Although encounters with it are rare here, encounters with other sharks are not. Six- to eight-foot-long hammerhead sharks, with heads shaped like sledgea hammers, swim in schools of a hundred or more. White-tip, Galapagos, and bull sharks, most larger than a man, are seen by nearly every explorer who enters these waters. Getting pictures of them while diving is difficult, though, because a diver's bubbles seem to frighten them.
Among the more unlikely denizens of equatorial waters are Galapagos Penguins. Only here and along the Pacific coast of South America do Penguins live near the Equator. They ply these waters with great ease, chasing fish and avoiding sharks. Out of water, they may be seen waddling about on the islands' volcanic rocks.
Another unique animal is the marine iguana, a ferret-size lizard whose distinctly reptilian features are adaptations for its life in the Galapagos: it uses its blunt snout to scrape algae from submerged rocks, it's clawed feet to grip slippery rocks, its muscular body and tail to swim in strong tides, and its spines to defend against predators.
Although the archipelago holds many wonders, it does not have a coral reef. Instead, diver's find dramatic volcanic rock formations beneath the sea. Some of them are bare; others are covered by red algae, orange and costing sponges, orange cup corals, and bushes of black coral.
One reason for the low number of reef-building corals is a weather phenomenon called El Nino. Periodically, El Nino brings an incursion of water that is poor in nutrients and unusually warm; these conditions are unfavorable for corals and plankton. El Nino also causes rainfall to increase, and large amounts of freshwater added to seawater are detrimental to coral growth.
Conversely, these seas hold a high number of fish-300 species, of which 17 percent are endemic. Among them are the hieroglyphic hawkfish, a bottom-dweller that seems to have symbols etched on its body, and the red-lipped batfish, with fashion-model-red lips. Not surprisingly, the archipelago attracts many fishermen.
Although the area is protected by an 1986 presidential decree making it the Marine Resource Reserve, it is still the site of illegal fishing. Park rangers simply don't have the resources to patrol almost 30,000 square miles. Luckily, the conservation effort is strong, being led in part by the owner of live-aboard dive vessels, Herbert Frei, Jr., who says that a plan is in the works to provide fisherman with a livelihood, while not significantly affecting the underwater habitat.
Efforts are also under way to save the islands' terrestrial animals, especially the tortoises. Because their shells come in different sizes and shapes-domed, saddle-back, or somewhere in between-these gentle giants formerly were thought to be members of several species. In fact, there is only one species, and it was almost wiped out by hunting and habitat destruction. Today, scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station are working to protect and, in some cases, reintroduce the giant tortoises to more remote areas of the archipelago.
Fortunately some 750,000 birds still can be found among the islands. Flycatchers, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, hawks, owls, and finches are common. So far 19 species of seabirds, including the blue-footed booby, red-footed booby, frigate bird, and the waved albatross.
When naturalized Charles Darwin first came to the Galapagos in 1835, he noticed that animals of the same species looked different on different islands. Years later, he developed a revolutionary theory of evolution and wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. What might he have thought if he had also seen the remarkable creatures in the sea surrounding islands


Towering 1,125-ft above the Tarn Valley in southern France, driving along the Millau Bridge is said to feel like flying. This Foster + Partners marvel is slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower, took three years to build and opened to the public in 2004. While it may provide picturesque views of the valley below, once the mist descends it is not a route for the faint hearted! The Millau Bridge has a total length of 8,071-ft with the longest single span at 1,122-ft and a maximum clearance below of 886-ft; in short the bridge is massively impressive both on paper and in real life. The deck is lofted on 7 pylons and weighs 36,000 tonnes. A series of 7 masts, each 292-ft tall and weighing 700 tonnes, are attached to the corresponding pylons.

Friday, April 10, 2009


HISTORY:The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, Gustave Eiffel's was unanimously chosen.
However it was not accepted by all at first, and a petition of 300 names - including those of Maupassant, Emile Zola, Charles Garnier (architect of the Opéra Garnier), and Dumas the Younger - protested its construction.
DESCRIPTION:At 300 metres (320.75m including antenna), and 7000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. Other statistics include: 2.5 million rivets. 300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it. Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds. Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature. 15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets). 40 tons of paint. 1652 steps to the top.
It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna - used for telegraphy at that time. Beginning in 1910 it became part of the International Time Service. French radio (since 1918), and French television (since 1957) have also made use of its stature.
During its lifetime, the Eiffel Tower has also witnessed a few strange scenes, including being scaled by a mountaineer in 1954, and parachuted off of in 1984 by two Englishmen. In 1923 a journalist rode a bicycle down from the first level. Some accounts say he rode down the stairs, other accounts suggest the exterior of one of the tower's four legs which slope outward.
The tower has three platforms. A restaurant (extremely expensive; reservations absolutely necessary), the Jules Verne is on the second platform. The top platform has a bar, souvenir shop, and the (recently restored) office of Gustave Eiffel.