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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 67

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2015-08-22 22:36:59 (67 comments, 62 reshares, 343 +1s)Open 

China’s New Motorway is Built Over Water ... "China has opened a new stretch of road that connects Xingshang County to the Zhaojun Bridge in central China’s Hubei province. A 4-km-long section of the 10-km route is built on top of an elevated bridge that runs along the middle of a river valley. The new route will cut down travel time from Xingshan to the Yiba Expressway to just 20 minutes, and at the same time treat drivers to a spectacular scenery. The journey originally took close to an hour along a steep and convoluted road.

According to the project manager of the road Chen Xingda, when the motorway was first proposed in 2013, there were three different possible routes. Two of the routes involved digging a tunnel through the mountains in the area. The third was a longer route and involved building on water. Engineers on the project chose the third option because that wouldena... more »

Most reshares: 82

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2015-08-23 13:26:05 (65 comments, 82 reshares, 223 +1s)Open 

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents? ... something new to me, SO we Americans actually speak the Queen's English while you Brits speak differently, eh? ... " In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely... more »

Most plusones: 343

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2015-08-22 22:36:59 (67 comments, 62 reshares, 343 +1s)Open 

China’s New Motorway is Built Over Water ... "China has opened a new stretch of road that connects Xingshang County to the Zhaojun Bridge in central China’s Hubei province. A 4-km-long section of the 10-km route is built on top of an elevated bridge that runs along the middle of a river valley. The new route will cut down travel time from Xingshan to the Yiba Expressway to just 20 minutes, and at the same time treat drivers to a spectacular scenery. The journey originally took close to an hour along a steep and convoluted road.

According to the project manager of the road Chen Xingda, when the motorway was first proposed in 2013, there were three different possible routes. Two of the routes involved digging a tunnel through the mountains in the area. The third was a longer route and involved building on water. Engineers on the project chose the third option because that wouldena... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-09-02 15:25:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Scars of World War I: The Battlefield of Beaumont-Hamel ... "The village of Beaumont-Hamel, in northern France, was one of the fortress villages located just behind the German lines during the Battle of the Somme. It was here, on July 1st 1916, one of the most destructive battles of World War One took place where nearly an entire regiment of the Canadian Army was wiped out.

On the morning of July 1st 1916 the 1st Newfoundland Regiment of the Canadian Army was ordered into battle as part of the opening phase of the Battle of the Somme. Their assignment was to seize control of the German trenches near the village of Beaumont Hamel. It was a strategically difficult assignment. The German front lines were about 300 to 500 meters away from where the Newfoundland Regiment was stationed, down a grassy slope and heavily guarded by a three-tiered system of well dug forward trenches shielded... more »

Scars of World War I: The Battlefield of Beaumont-Hamel ... "The village of Beaumont-Hamel, in northern France, was one of the fortress villages located just behind the German lines during the Battle of the Somme. It was here, on July 1st 1916, one of the most destructive battles of World War One took place where nearly an entire regiment of the Canadian Army was wiped out.

On the morning of July 1st 1916 the 1st Newfoundland Regiment of the Canadian Army was ordered into battle as part of the opening phase of the Battle of the Somme. Their assignment was to seize control of the German trenches near the village of Beaumont Hamel. It was a strategically difficult assignment. The German front lines were about 300 to 500 meters away from where the Newfoundland Regiment was stationed, down a grassy slope and heavily guarded by a three-tiered system of well dug forward trenches shielded with extensive protective wire, that presented a formidable obstacle to any attacking force. Besides, the Germans knew when an attack was going to start.

In the preceding week, the allied forces had carried out a textbook style artillery bombardment against German lines. The Germans knew that once the artillery bombardment stopped, an infantry attack would follow. During the bombardment many Germans were deep underground in relative safety, and when the artillery attack ceased, they made their way to their posts in their trenches to await the attackers.

At zero hour, the allied forces detonated 18,000 kilograms of explosives under Hawthorn Ridge, an important German stronghold on its frontline, creating a huge crater which they planned to take under control. But they made another terrible mistake here: they blew the explosives 10 minutes before zero hour. The explosion alerted Germans that a land attack was imminent, and the 10-minute delay gave them just enough time to strengthen their defenses and ready their machine guns.

The slaughter at Beaumont-Hamel was appalling. The allied troops had to move across more than 200 meters of open ground in full view of German machine gun before they even got to the accepted front line. From here, German trenches were a further 500 meters away down a slope. The men became silhouetted against the sky as they approached it, making them easy targets for the German gunners. Of the 780 men who went forward that day, 324 were killed, or missing and presumed dead, and 386 were wounded. When roll call was taken the next day, only 68 men answered their names. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/scars-of-world-war-i-battlefield-of_31.html___

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2015-09-02 12:27:34 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

http://www.w5ve.com/?p=425#more-425

http://www.w5ve.com/?p=425#more-425___

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2015-09-02 12:26:54 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

http://www.w5ve.com/?p=425#more-425

http://www.w5ve.com/?p=425#more-425___

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2015-09-01 13:38:53 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

How 'Starshades' Could Aid Search for Alien Life ... Leonard David -- " The next step in the exoplanet revolution may be an in-space "starshade" that lets alien worlds step out of a blinding glare.

Researchers are testing designs for a starshade, which would fly in formation with a future space-based telescope. The starshade, also known as an "external occulter," would block the light from a star while allowing the scope to spot emissions from much dimmer orbiting planets.

Scientists are conducting desert tests of the technology on Earth. They're using the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to model a starshade's ability to help future instruments find and characterize rocky, Earth-like alien worlds.

A starshade may be used on NASA's potential Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope... more »

How 'Starshades' Could Aid Search for Alien Life ... Leonard David -- " The next step in the exoplanet revolution may be an in-space "starshade" that lets alien worlds step out of a blinding glare.

Researchers are testing designs for a starshade, which would fly in formation with a future space-based telescope. The starshade, also known as an "external occulter," would block the light from a star while allowing the scope to spot emissions from much dimmer orbiting planets.

Scientists are conducting desert tests of the technology on Earth. They're using the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to model a starshade's ability to help future instruments find and characterize rocky, Earth-like alien worlds.

A starshade may be used on NASA's potential Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), a space-based instrument that would feature a primary mirror 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide, the same size as that of the agency's iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

Several years ago, the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) donated two space telescopes to NASA. In 2013, the space agency announced it hoped to use one of these scopes for WFIRST. That move spurred anticipation in the U.S. astronomical community for Hubble-quality imaging over an area of sky 100 times larger than that viewed by Hubble. This version of the mission is called WFIRST-AFTA (for "Astrophysics-Focused Telescope Assets").

The WFIRST-AFTA mission would carry out exoplanet exploration, dark energy research, and galactic and extragalactic surveys. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30429-starshade-alien-life-search-wfirst-tech.html___

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2015-09-01 13:37:30 (10 comments, 14 reshares, 91 +1s)Open 

How 'Starshades' Could Aid Search for Alien Life ... Leonard David -- " The next step in the exoplanet revolution may be an in-space "starshade" that lets alien worlds step out of a blinding glare.

Researchers are testing designs for a starshade, which would fly in formation with a future space-based telescope. The starshade, also known as an "external occulter," would block the light from a star while allowing the scope to spot emissions from much dimmer orbiting planets.

Scientists are conducting desert tests of the technology on Earth. They're using the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to model a starshade's ability to help future instruments find and characterize rocky, Earth-like alien worlds.

A starshade may be used on NASA's potential Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope... more »

How 'Starshades' Could Aid Search for Alien Life ... Leonard David -- " The next step in the exoplanet revolution may be an in-space "starshade" that lets alien worlds step out of a blinding glare.

Researchers are testing designs for a starshade, which would fly in formation with a future space-based telescope. The starshade, also known as an "external occulter," would block the light from a star while allowing the scope to spot emissions from much dimmer orbiting planets.

Scientists are conducting desert tests of the technology on Earth. They're using the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to model a starshade's ability to help future instruments find and characterize rocky, Earth-like alien worlds.

A starshade may be used on NASA's potential Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), a space-based instrument that would feature a primary mirror 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide, the same size as that of the agency's iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

Several years ago, the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) donated two space telescopes to NASA. In 2013, the space agency announced it hoped to use one of these scopes for WFIRST. That move spurred anticipation in the U.S. astronomical community for Hubble-quality imaging over an area of sky 100 times larger than that viewed by Hubble. This version of the mission is called WFIRST-AFTA (for "Astrophysics-Focused Telescope Assets").

The WFIRST-AFTA mission would carry out exoplanet exploration, dark energy research, and galactic and extragalactic surveys. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30429-starshade-alien-life-search-wfirst-tech.html___

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2015-08-30 16:06:56 (11 comments, 19 reshares, 124 +1s)Open 

ABBEY LIBRARY OF SAINT GALL ... This is not only one of the oldest collections in Europe, but also possibly the most beautiful ... "According to the Abbey of Saint Gallen's website, the earliest evidence of a library collection on the site dates back to around 820 CE, in plans that show a library attached to the main church. The Abbey is said to have followed the Rule of St. Benedict, a portion of which prescribes the study of literature, should a library available, so it is no wonder that the abbey itself would have been built with one. As the abbey grew over the years, so did its library, and soon the site became known for its collection of illuminated manuscripts and writings, as well as a leading center for science and Western culture around the 10th century.

In the mid-18th century, the world-renowned collection was moved to a new library space which was lavishly decorated in... more »

ABBEY LIBRARY OF SAINT GALL ... This is not only one of the oldest collections in Europe, but also possibly the most beautiful ... "According to the Abbey of Saint Gallen's website, the earliest evidence of a library collection on the site dates back to around 820 CE, in plans that show a library attached to the main church. The Abbey is said to have followed the Rule of St. Benedict, a portion of which prescribes the study of literature, should a library available, so it is no wonder that the abbey itself would have been built with one. As the abbey grew over the years, so did its library, and soon the site became known for its collection of illuminated manuscripts and writings, as well as a leading center for science and Western culture around the 10th century.

In the mid-18th century, the world-renowned collection was moved to a new library space which was lavishly decorated in a Baroque rococo style. Elaborate artworks were installed in the ceiling which were framed by flowing, curved moldings, giving the space a timeless and fantastical aspect. The wooden balconies are shaped into flowering shapes and designs. Oh, and also the books the historic collection was also on display if you could look past the surroundings to pay attention to them.

Today the library at St. Gall is still considered nearly unrivaled in its beauty. It also now holds one of the more important collections in the world, covering 12 centuries of non-stop collecting. The collection even includes the first example of a architectural plan on parchment. But take your nose out of that book and revel in one of the most stunning libraries ever.     ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/abbey-library-of-saint-gall-2___

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2015-08-30 14:13:10 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Things the Army Gave Me ... self confidence, calm in emergencies, self discipline, a love of coffee. ... growing up and in school before my service time, I hated coffee. after Vietnam, I loved it. black and hot and have enjoyed decades of this fine beverage. want to give thanks to a vet, offer him a nice hot cup of coffee. thank you.

Things the Army Gave Me ... self confidence, calm in emergencies, self discipline, a love of coffee. ... growing up and in school before my service time, I hated coffee. after Vietnam, I loved it. black and hot and have enjoyed decades of this fine beverage. want to give thanks to a vet, offer him a nice hot cup of coffee. thank you.___

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2015-08-30 12:37:17 (0 comments, 6 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

A friend in need is a friend indeed

via the Shirk Report

A friend in need is a friend indeed

via the Shirk Report___

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2015-08-30 12:30:24 (3 comments, 7 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

Dance with Me

via the Shirk Report

Dance with Me

via the Shirk Report___

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2015-08-30 12:19:31 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

NASA's Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast ... Leonard David -- " MONROVIA, California — NASA's next nuclear-powered Mars rover, slated to launch in 2020, is slowly coming together. And while the Mars 2020 mission is largely based on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which is now exploring the Red Planet, there are a variety of distinctions that set it apart. 
NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is expected to explore a select site that's geologically diverse, is likely to have been habitable and to seek out signs of past life.

But the rover is also slated to collect and stash Mars samples in tubes and drop them off at a preselected depot point. Years later, according to NASA's plan, those Martian samples would be scooped up by a "ship and shoot" robotic mission to deliver the specimens back to Earth.

This month, a mix ofro... more »

NASA's Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast ... Leonard David -- " MONROVIA, California — NASA's next nuclear-powered Mars rover, slated to launch in 2020, is slowly coming together. And while the Mars 2020 mission is largely based on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which is now exploring the Red Planet, there are a variety of distinctions that set it apart. 
NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is expected to explore a select site that's geologically diverse, is likely to have been habitable and to seek out signs of past life.

But the rover is also slated to collect and stash Mars samples in tubes and drop them off at a preselected depot point. Years later, according to NASA's plan, those Martian samples would be scooped up by a "ship and shoot" robotic mission to deliver the specimens back to Earth.

This month, a mix of rover specialists and landing-site scientists met here to discuss the ambitious Mars 2020 mission during NASA's second landing-site workshop for the flight. The meeting's primary goal was to pare down a large number of candidate landing sites on Mars that emerged from the first workshop. Future landing-site meetings will eventually pick the winning exploration zone.

The meeting, which ran from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, also served as a sort of show and tell time for engineers as they work ahead of key decisions that need to be made in designing the Mars 2020 robot.

"Mars 2020 is the last mission that we actually have on the books," Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., told meeting participants. "It's important that we get this right … that we have the enthusiasm of the science community and the public." ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30395-nasa-mars-2020-rover-technology.html

___

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2015-08-30 12:18:58 (19 comments, 17 reshares, 102 +1s)Open 

NASA's Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast ... Leonard David -- " MONROVIA, California — NASA's next nuclear-powered Mars rover, slated to launch in 2020, is slowly coming together. And while the Mars 2020 mission is largely based on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which is now exploring the Red Planet, there are a variety of distinctions that set it apart. 
NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is expected to explore a select site that's geologically diverse, is likely to have been habitable and to seek out signs of past life.

But the rover is also slated to collect and stash Mars samples in tubes and drop them off at a preselected depot point. Years later, according to NASA's plan, those Martian samples would be scooped up by a "ship and shoot" robotic mission to deliver the specimens back to Earth.

This month, a mix ofro... more »

NASA's Next Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover: Building the Beast ... Leonard David -- " MONROVIA, California — NASA's next nuclear-powered Mars rover, slated to launch in 2020, is slowly coming together. And while the Mars 2020 mission is largely based on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, which is now exploring the Red Planet, there are a variety of distinctions that set it apart. 
NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission is expected to explore a select site that's geologically diverse, is likely to have been habitable and to seek out signs of past life.

But the rover is also slated to collect and stash Mars samples in tubes and drop them off at a preselected depot point. Years later, according to NASA's plan, those Martian samples would be scooped up by a "ship and shoot" robotic mission to deliver the specimens back to Earth.

This month, a mix of rover specialists and landing-site scientists met here to discuss the ambitious Mars 2020 mission during NASA's second landing-site workshop for the flight. The meeting's primary goal was to pare down a large number of candidate landing sites on Mars that emerged from the first workshop. Future landing-site meetings will eventually pick the winning exploration zone.

The meeting, which ran from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6, also served as a sort of show and tell time for engineers as they work ahead of key decisions that need to be made in designing the Mars 2020 robot.

"Mars 2020 is the last mission that we actually have on the books," Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., told meeting participants. "It's important that we get this right … that we have the enthusiasm of the science community and the public." ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30395-nasa-mars-2020-rover-technology.html

___

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2015-08-29 20:13:43 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Incredible, we Americans speak a more authentic form of English than the Brits. ;-)

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents? ... something new to me, SO we Americans actually speak the Queen's English while you Brits speak differently, eh? ... " In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely "rhotic." Rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound in such words as "hard" and "winter," while non-rhotic speakers do not. Today, however, non-rhotic speech is common throughout most of Britain. For example, most modern Brits would tell you it's been a "hahd wintuh."

It was around the time of the American Revolution that non-rhotic speech came into use among the upper class in southern England, in and around London. According to John Algeo in "The Cambridge History of the English Language" (Cambridge University Press, 2001), this shift occurred because people of low birth rank who had become wealthy during the Industrial Revolution were seeking ways to distinguish themselves from other commoners; they cultivated the prestigious non-rhotic pronunciation in order to demonstrate their new upper-class status.

"London pronunciation became the prerogative of a new breed of specialists — orthoepists and teachers of elocution. The orthoepists decided upon correct pronunciations, compiled pronouncing dictionaries and, in private and expensive tutoring sessions, drilled enterprising citizens in fashionable articulation," Algeo wrote.

The lofty manner of speech developed by these specialists gradually became standardized — it is officially called "Received Pronunciation" — and it spread across Britain. However, people in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland have largely maintained their traditional rhotic accents.

Most American accents have also remained rhotic, with some exceptions: New York and Boston accents have become non-rhotic. According to Algeo, after the Revolutionary War, these cities were "under the strongest influence by the British elite." ..."

http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html___Incredible, we Americans speak a more authentic form of English than the Brits. ;-)

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2015-08-29 19:54:51 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

The Hindenburgdamm Causeway ... "The Hindenburgdamm or Hindenburg Dam is an 11 km-long causeway joining the North Frisian island of Sylt to mainland Schleswig-Holstein, off the coast of Germany. It was opened in 1927 exclusively for rail transport. Before the causeway was built, the connection to the island was at the mercy of the tides, and in winter, the ice in the Wadden Sea formed an impenetrable barrier. The crossing took about six hours in adverse weather and flow conditions lasted longer. As the seaside resort of Westerland, on Sylt, became increasingly popular, officials started planning for the rail causeway.

The original plan was to build a train route from the port at the Hoyerschleuse to the island, but after World War I, Germany was obliged to cede the Hoyerschleuse to Denmark while Sylt remained part of Germany. Owing to the new border, the old route to Sylt was now cut... more »

The Hindenburgdamm Causeway ... "The Hindenburgdamm or Hindenburg Dam is an 11 km-long causeway joining the North Frisian island of Sylt to mainland Schleswig-Holstein, off the coast of Germany. It was opened in 1927 exclusively for rail transport. Before the causeway was built, the connection to the island was at the mercy of the tides, and in winter, the ice in the Wadden Sea formed an impenetrable barrier. The crossing took about six hours in adverse weather and flow conditions lasted longer. As the seaside resort of Westerland, on Sylt, became increasingly popular, officials started planning for the rail causeway.

The original plan was to build a train route from the port at the Hoyerschleuse to the island, but after World War I, Germany was obliged to cede the Hoyerschleuse to Denmark while Sylt remained part of Germany. Owing to the new border, the old route to Sylt was now cut off, except if travellers wanted to go to the trouble of obtaining a Danish visa to make a short trip through Danish territory. Because the situation was unacceptable, the causeway re-routed entirely through Germany.

Construction of the causeway began in 1923 and during the next four years, more than three million were cubic meters of sand and clay, as well as 120,000 tons of stones were moved from the mainland to the site. The dam was named after the then Reich President Paul von Hindenburg, who opened the railway on 1 June 1927.

For the first 45 years of its existence the Hindenburgdamm had a single track. In 1972 it was widened and a second track was laid. Today, more than 100 trains pass over the causeway every day, with half of those ferrying cars as there is no road link to Sylt. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hindenburgdamm-causeway.html___

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2015-08-29 19:45:48 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

The Planetarium of Nagoya City Science Museum ... "The Nagoya City Science Museum, at the center of Nagoya City in central Japan, can be easily recognized by its enormous silver globe, called Brother Earth, that appears to hang in the air, wedged between two buildings. The globe, which looks incredible from the outside, is home to the largest planetarium in the world with a 35-meter projection screen.

The planetarium is equipped with two state-of-the-art projectors — the Universarium Model IX (optical planetarium) and the Skymax DSII-R2 (digital planetarium) —  that is capable of accurately displaying the positions and brightness of more than 9,000 fixed stars visible to the naked eye from any location on earth, as well as the every-day motion of the planets and the phases of the moon.
The planetarium was opened in 2011, when much of the museum was renovated. The old Science&... more »

The Planetarium of Nagoya City Science Museum ... "The Nagoya City Science Museum, at the center of Nagoya City in central Japan, can be easily recognized by its enormous silver globe, called Brother Earth, that appears to hang in the air, wedged between two buildings. The globe, which looks incredible from the outside, is home to the largest planetarium in the world with a 35-meter projection screen.

The planetarium is equipped with two state-of-the-art projectors — the Universarium Model IX (optical planetarium) and the Skymax DSII-R2 (digital planetarium) —  that is capable of accurately displaying the positions and brightness of more than 9,000 fixed stars visible to the naked eye from any location on earth, as well as the every-day motion of the planets and the phases of the moon.
The planetarium was opened in 2011, when much of the museum was renovated. The old Science & Technology and Astronomy buildings were replaced by a new wing that housed the planetarium globe, and since then the planetarium has become the major attraction and symbol of the museum.

When the Nagoya City Science Museum was opened in 1962 in honor of the 70th anniversary of Nagoya city, the old Astronomy Building had a smaller planetarium. The old planetarium had a Model IV large-dome planetarium projection machine from Carl Zeiss, installed in the same year. Two years later, the Science & Technology Building was added and later the Life Science Building in 1982. The museum was one of the best comprehensive science-museums in Japan.

But 50 years later the old projector began showing signs of aging. So the city decided to reconstruct the astronomy and the science and technology section of the Nagoya City Science Museum. The museum remained closed for nearly seven months. When it was reopened in March 2011, it had the largest planetarium in the world, beating the previous record holder — the Ehime Prefectural Science Museum in Niihama City, also in Japan — by 5 meters.

The planetarium dome has an internal diameter of 35 meters and is made up about 700 high-spec punching panels that are seamlessly joined together to create a smooth projection surface. Inside the dome are 350 separate reclining seats, arranged in concentric circles around the star projector, which are able to rotate 30 degrees to the left and right.

To project a realistic starry sky, the museum procured two different projectors — one opto-mechanical and one digital. The optical starball, Universarium Model IX from Carl Zeiss, is installed exactly in the center of the dome. This projector is equipped with fiber optics that makes it possible to show the beautiful stars with high brightness levels and small size.

The digital planetarium, the Skymax DSII-R2 made by Konica Minolta Planetarium Co. Ltd, can deliver high quality 64 mega pixel images that are fed to 6 video projectors. As well as displaying stars and planets, this system can project videos of space travel and other celestial scenes and all sky map.

Planetarium shows are 50 minutes long and are held 6 times a day and are said to be very informative and entertaining for the whole family. Unfortunately, the presentations are given only in Japanese. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-planetarium-of-nagoya-city-science.html___

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2015-08-29 19:44:14 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

The Planetarium of Nagoya City Science Museum ... "The Nagoya City Science Museum, at the center of Nagoya City in central Japan, can be easily recognized by its enormous silver globe, called Brother Earth, that appears to hang in the air, wedged between two buildings. The globe, which looks incredible from the outside, is home to the largest planetarium in the world with a 35-meter projection screen.

The planetarium is equipped with two state-of-the-art projectors — the Universarium Model IX (optical planetarium) and the Skymax DSII-R2 (digital planetarium) —  that is capable of accurately displaying the positions and brightness of more than 9,000 fixed stars visible to the naked eye from any location on earth, as well as the every-day motion of the planets and the phases of the moon.
The planetarium was opened in 2011, when much of the museum was renovated. The old Science&... more »

The Planetarium of Nagoya City Science Museum ... "The Nagoya City Science Museum, at the center of Nagoya City in central Japan, can be easily recognized by its enormous silver globe, called Brother Earth, that appears to hang in the air, wedged between two buildings. The globe, which looks incredible from the outside, is home to the largest planetarium in the world with a 35-meter projection screen.

The planetarium is equipped with two state-of-the-art projectors — the Universarium Model IX (optical planetarium) and the Skymax DSII-R2 (digital planetarium) —  that is capable of accurately displaying the positions and brightness of more than 9,000 fixed stars visible to the naked eye from any location on earth, as well as the every-day motion of the planets and the phases of the moon.
The planetarium was opened in 2011, when much of the museum was renovated. The old Science & Technology and Astronomy buildings were replaced by a new wing that housed the planetarium globe, and since then the planetarium has become the major attraction and symbol of the museum.

When the Nagoya City Science Museum was opened in 1962 in honor of the 70th anniversary of Nagoya city, the old Astronomy Building had a smaller planetarium. The old planetarium had a Model IV large-dome planetarium projection machine from Carl Zeiss, installed in the same year. Two years later, the Science & Technology Building was added and later the Life Science Building in 1982. The museum was one of the best comprehensive science-museums in Japan.

But 50 years later the old projector began showing signs of aging. So the city decided to reconstruct the astronomy and the science and technology section of the Nagoya City Science Museum. The museum remained closed for nearly seven months. When it was reopened in March 2011, it had the largest planetarium in the world, beating the previous record holder — the Ehime Prefectural Science Museum in Niihama City, also in Japan — by 5 meters.

The planetarium dome has an internal diameter of 35 meters and is made up about 700 high-spec punching panels that are seamlessly joined together to create a smooth projection surface. Inside the dome are 350 separate reclining seats, arranged in concentric circles around the star projector, which are able to rotate 30 degrees to the left and right.

To project a realistic starry sky, the museum procured two different projectors — one opto-mechanical and one digital. The optical starball, Universarium Model IX from Carl Zeiss, is installed exactly in the center of the dome. This projector is equipped with fiber optics that makes it possible to show the beautiful stars with high brightness levels and small size.

The digital planetarium, the Skymax DSII-R2 made by Konica Minolta Planetarium Co. Ltd, can deliver high quality 64 mega pixel images that are fed to 6 video projectors. As well as displaying stars and planets, this system can project videos of space travel and other celestial scenes and all sky map.

Planetarium shows are 50 minutes long and are held 6 times a day and are said to be very informative and entertaining for the whole family. Unfortunately, the presentations are given only in Japanese. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-planetarium-of-nagoya-city-science.html___

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2015-08-29 18:11:09 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

This morning was having trouble waking up so French pressed me a Millennium Bug (01-01-00) cup of strong, delicious dark roasted COFFEE. Not only have I been awake and productive most of the day, I seem to be floating about three inches above the seat of my desk chair. CHUGGA, CHUGGA!

This morning was having trouble waking up so French pressed me a Millennium Bug (01-01-00) cup of strong, delicious dark roasted COFFEE. Not only have I been awake and productive most of the day, I seem to be floating about three inches above the seat of my desk chair. CHUGGA, CHUGGA!___

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2015-08-29 14:20:10 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

NASA Tech Aims for Precise Landings on Mars ...  Elizabeth Howell -- "Getting a robotic spacecraft to nail a pinpoint landing is still just a dream for engineers, but a new technology could make it easier to reach distant destinations with better precision.

The new Mars landing technology, which is being co-developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and the University of Texas at Austin, compares pictures of the ground below to images already stored in the spacecraft's computer, to figure out how close to get to the landing site.

Such a process would be a huge improvement over current capabilities. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, for instance, was targeted to land in a zone that measured 4 miles by 12 miles (7 by 20 kilometers). The new precision technology would not only be useful for Mars landings, but could alsob... more »

NASA Tech Aims for Precise Landings on Mars ...  Elizabeth Howell -- "Getting a robotic spacecraft to nail a pinpoint landing is still just a dream for engineers, but a new technology could make it easier to reach distant destinations with better precision.

The new Mars landing technology, which is being co-developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and the University of Texas at Austin, compares pictures of the ground below to images already stored in the spacecraft's computer, to figure out how close to get to the landing site.

Such a process would be a huge improvement over current capabilities. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, for instance, was targeted to land in a zone that measured 4 miles by 12 miles (7 by 20 kilometers). The new precision technology would not only be useful for Mars landings, but could also be repurposed for the moon or asteroids, NASA officials said in a statement.

"This represents a huge step forward in our future capabilities for safe and precise Mars landing, and demonstrates a highly effective approach for rapid, low-cost validation of new technologies for the entry, descent and landing of spacecraft," Chad Edwards, chief technologist of NASA's Mars Exploration Directorate, said in a statement.

The system is called ADAPT (Autonomous Descent and Ascent Powered-flight Testbed) and was tested on the Xombie vertical-launch, vertical-landing rocket built by Masten Space Systems in Mojave, California.

In a pair of Xombie test flights in December, ADAPT made it to its target altitude of 1,066 feet (325 meters). During the second test flight, Xombie made a midcourse correction at 623 feet (190 m) before successfully touching down.

For the test flights, Xombie carried a "terrain-relative navigation" system equipped with two technologies. The first, NASA's Lander Vision System, takes and compares pictures. It is then used in concert with an algorithm, called Guidance for Fuel-Optimal Large Diverts (G-FOLD), designed for spacecraft to move to their target landing sites. ..."

SEE THE VIDEO: http://www.space.com/30402-precise-mars-landings-xombie-rocket.html___

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2015-08-29 14:17:54 (20 comments, 19 reshares, 189 +1s)Open 

NASA Tech Aims for Precise Landings on Mars ...  Elizabeth Howell -- "Getting a robotic spacecraft to nail a pinpoint landing is still just a dream for engineers, but a new technology could make it easier to reach distant destinations with better precision.

The new Mars landing technology, which is being co-developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and the University of Texas at Austin, compares pictures of the ground below to images already stored in the spacecraft's computer, to figure out how close to get to the landing site.

Such a process would be a huge improvement over current capabilities. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, for instance, was targeted to land in a zone that measured 4 miles by 12 miles (7 by 20 kilometers). The new precision technology would not only be useful for Mars landings, but could alsob... more »

NASA Tech Aims for Precise Landings on Mars ...  Elizabeth Howell -- "Getting a robotic spacecraft to nail a pinpoint landing is still just a dream for engineers, but a new technology could make it easier to reach distant destinations with better precision.

The new Mars landing technology, which is being co-developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and the University of Texas at Austin, compares pictures of the ground below to images already stored in the spacecraft's computer, to figure out how close to get to the landing site.

Such a process would be a huge improvement over current capabilities. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, for instance, was targeted to land in a zone that measured 4 miles by 12 miles (7 by 20 kilometers). The new precision technology would not only be useful for Mars landings, but could also be repurposed for the moon or asteroids, NASA officials said in a statement.

"This represents a huge step forward in our future capabilities for safe and precise Mars landing, and demonstrates a highly effective approach for rapid, low-cost validation of new technologies for the entry, descent and landing of spacecraft," Chad Edwards, chief technologist of NASA's Mars Exploration Directorate, said in a statement.

The system is called ADAPT (Autonomous Descent and Ascent Powered-flight Testbed) and was tested on the Xombie vertical-launch, vertical-landing rocket built by Masten Space Systems in Mojave, California.

In a pair of Xombie test flights in December, ADAPT made it to its target altitude of 1,066 feet (325 meters). During the second test flight, Xombie made a midcourse correction at 623 feet (190 m) before successfully touching down.

For the test flights, Xombie carried a "terrain-relative navigation" system equipped with two technologies. The first, NASA's Lander Vision System, takes and compares pictures. It is then used in concert with an algorithm, called Guidance for Fuel-Optimal Large Diverts (G-FOLD), designed for spacecraft to move to their target landing sites. ..."

SEE THE VIDEO: http://www.space.com/30402-precise-mars-landings-xombie-rocket.html___

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2015-08-29 11:27:28 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever ... Matt Novak -- "If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk.

The term California Kilowatt was slang in the ham radio community for a transmitter with a power input that exceeded the legal limit. The slightly misleading part? This radio only transmitted at the legal limit. I guess even the coolest radio ever can’t have it all.

From the ad in the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft:

Kluge Electronics, Inc., is the first to conceive, design and produce this remarkable contribution to modern radio. Among the special Kluge features designed into theCALIFOR... more »

This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever ... Matt Novak -- "If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk.

The term California Kilowatt was slang in the ham radio community for a transmitter with a power input that exceeded the legal limit. The slightly misleading part? This radio only transmitted at the legal limit. I guess even the coolest radio ever can’t have it all.

From the ad in the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft:

Kluge Electronics, Inc., is the first to conceive, design and produce this remarkable contribution to modern radio. Among the special Kluge features designed into the CALIFORNIA KILOWATT are:

A California Kilowatt transmitter with an amazing new tube development — 5 band operation with variable frequency control in each band — phone or CW at the throw of a switch — 110 or 220 volt operation;

Provisions for your choice make of receiver;

Built-in speaker — (high-fidelity remote speaker also available);

Built-in world time clock;

Illuminated world map with cork backing;

Price — the complete CALIFORNIA KILOWATT Station costs far less than you would expect to pay for a transmitter alone.

Sadly, the ad doesn’t mention how much this thing was going for exactly. But I can’t imagine it was cheap.

If you see anything like this at your local garage sales this summer please hit me up on Kinja. I’m willing to pay literally tens of American dollars for this set-up.

Image: Scanned from the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft magazine" ..."

http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/this-is-the-coolest-vintage-radio-ever-1561069987___

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2015-08-29 11:25:26 (8 comments, 12 reshares, 54 +1s)Open 

This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever ... Matt Novak -- "If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk.

The term California Kilowatt was slang in the ham radio community for a transmitter with a power input that exceeded the legal limit. The slightly misleading part? This radio only transmitted at the legal limit. I guess even the coolest radio ever can’t have it all.

From the ad in the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft:

Kluge Electronics, Inc., is the first to conceive, design and produce this remarkable contribution to modern radio. Among the special Kluge features designed into theCALIFOR... more »

This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever ... Matt Novak -- "If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk.

The term California Kilowatt was slang in the ham radio community for a transmitter with a power input that exceeded the legal limit. The slightly misleading part? This radio only transmitted at the legal limit. I guess even the coolest radio ever can’t have it all.

From the ad in the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft:

Kluge Electronics, Inc., is the first to conceive, design and produce this remarkable contribution to modern radio. Among the special Kluge features designed into the CALIFORNIA KILOWATT are:

A California Kilowatt transmitter with an amazing new tube development — 5 band operation with variable frequency control in each band — phone or CW at the throw of a switch — 110 or 220 volt operation;

Provisions for your choice make of receiver;

Built-in speaker — (high-fidelity remote speaker also available);

Built-in world time clock;

Illuminated world map with cork backing;

Price — the complete CALIFORNIA KILOWATT Station costs far less than you would expect to pay for a transmitter alone.

Sadly, the ad doesn’t mention how much this thing was going for exactly. But I can’t imagine it was cheap.

If you see anything like this at your local garage sales this summer please hit me up on Kinja. I’m willing to pay literally tens of American dollars for this set-up.

Image: Scanned from the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft magazine" ..."

http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/this-is-the-coolest-vintage-radio-ever-1561069987___

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2015-08-27 19:34:55 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

Sky Swimming: Transparent Pool Bridges Two 10-Story Buildings ... "Designed to span over 80 feet and connect a pair of apartment structures in London, this remarkable see-through glass pool will give swimmers the ultimate view of the city on all sides. This record-setting, first-of-its-kind creation reflects recent advances in material science and structurally engineering.

Designed to span over 80 feet and connect a pair of apartment structures in London, this remarkable see-through glass pool will give swimmers the ultimate view of the city on all sides. This record-setting, first-of-its-kind creation reflects recent advances in material science and structurally engineering.

In addition to this dazzling connector, a secondary bridge will allow people to walk between roofs, accessing other amenities including a bar and spa. Unlike many deceptivea... more »

Sky Swimming: Transparent Pool Bridges Two 10-Story Buildings ... "Designed to span over 80 feet and connect a pair of apartment structures in London, this remarkable see-through glass pool will give swimmers the ultimate view of the city on all sides. This record-setting, first-of-its-kind creation reflects recent advances in material science and structurally engineering.

Designed to span over 80 feet and connect a pair of apartment structures in London, this remarkable see-through glass pool will give swimmers the ultimate view of the city on all sides. This record-setting, first-of-its-kind creation reflects recent advances in material science and structurally engineering.

In addition to this dazzling connector, a secondary bridge will allow people to walk between roofs, accessing other amenities including a bar and spa. Unlike many deceptive architectural renderings, this audacious structural design has already received planning approval – the real-life version coming in 2017 will indeed be as shown.

Developed by Arup Associates in collaboration with project architects of HAL, this water bridge will be 15 feet wide and 9 feet, framed in thick but transparent glass on three sides. Aquarium specialists and engineers were consulted throughout to ensure the safety of the endeavor.

This residential project is part of a larger overhaul being orchestrated by Frank Gehry and Foster + Partners, a master plan which includes eight other major architectural features and renovations surrounding the historic Battersea Power Station. ..."

MORE:  http://weburbanist.com/2015/08/25/sky-swimming-transparent-pool-bridges-two-10-story-buildings/___

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2015-08-27 15:17:06 (11 comments, 25 reshares, 234 +1s)Open 

Castle Ruins of Aggstein, Wachau, Lower Austria ... "Aggstein Castle is a ruined castle situated on the right bank of the Danube in Wachau, Austria. The castle dates back to the 12th century and is perched about 300 meters (980 ft) above the Danube.
There is plenty of history and legends surrounding this centuries-old castle and you can read all about its construction and siege on Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggstein_Castle

On November 30, 1973 the castle and surrounding landscape was featured as a postage stamp by the Austrian Postal Service."

Castle Ruins of Aggstein, Wachau, Lower Austria ... "Aggstein Castle is a ruined castle situated on the right bank of the Danube in Wachau, Austria. The castle dates back to the 12th century and is perched about 300 meters (980 ft) above the Danube.
There is plenty of history and legends surrounding this centuries-old castle and you can read all about its construction and siege on Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggstein_Castle

On November 30, 1973 the castle and surrounding landscape was featured as a postage stamp by the Austrian Postal Service."___

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2015-08-27 15:08:19 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

'Stunning New Images Of Ceres Show A Lonely Pyramid-like Mountain ... Jonathan O'Callaghan -- "ASA’s Dawn spacecraft has taken its closest images yet of the dwarf planet Ceres. Sadly, they don’t reveal any more about the mysterious bright spots on the surface – but they do show a stunning new view of a pyramid-like structure, seen above.
The mountain in the image towers about six kilometers (four miles) above the surface. Its slopes are brightly streaked while its perimeter on the surface has a sharp definition. Interestingly there is no debris around the base of the mountain, and it also seems to stand alone, rather than being part of a mountain range.

In the other images, the spacecraft revealed a mountain ridge on Ceres, and also a large crater named for the Germanic goddess Gaue. Dawn has also been using its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer to gatherdata on ... more »

'Stunning New Images Of Ceres Show A Lonely Pyramid-like Mountain ... Jonathan O'Callaghan -- "ASA’s Dawn spacecraft has taken its closest images yet of the dwarf planet Ceres. Sadly, they don’t reveal any more about the mysterious bright spots on the surface – but they do show a stunning new view of a pyramid-like structure, seen above.
The mountain in the image towers about six kilometers (four miles) above the surface. Its slopes are brightly streaked while its perimeter on the surface has a sharp definition. Interestingly there is no debris around the base of the mountain, and it also seems to stand alone, rather than being part of a mountain range.

In the other images, the spacecraft revealed a mountain ridge on Ceres, and also a large crater named for the Germanic goddess Gaue. Dawn has also been using its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer to gather data on the minerals that can be found on the surface of Ceres.

Dawn, which arrived in orbit around Ceres in March this year after visiting the protoplanet Vesta in 2011 and 2012, is currently orbiting 1,470 kilometers (915 miles) above the surface. Over the next few months, it will get closer and closer, reaching its lowest altitude – 375 kilometers (230 miles) – in October. At this height, we can expect even more stunning images.

In its current orbit, it takes Dawn 11 days to capture images of the whole surface of Ceres over the course of 14 orbits. In the next two months, the entire surface will be mapped six times. Images at this height have a resolution of 140 meters (460 feet) per pixel, and each covers less than one percent of the surface.

"Dawn is performing flawlessly in this new orbit as it conducts its ambitious exploration," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer and mission director, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, in a statement. "The spacecraft's view is now three times as sharp as in its previous mapping orbit, revealing exciting new details of this intriguing dwarf planet."

But while these images are all well and good, let’s be honest: we all want to know what caused the mysterious bright spots on the surface. Are they caused by ice, salt flats, or something else? We’ll have to wait to find out. ...

MORE: http://www.iflscience.com/space/dawn-returns-stunning-new-images-ceres-including-pyramid-mountain___

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2015-08-27 15:07:37 (30 comments, 21 reshares, 258 +1s)Open 

'Stunning New Images Of Ceres Show A Lonely Pyramid-like Mountain ... Jonathan O'Callaghan -- "ASA’s Dawn spacecraft has taken its closest images yet of the dwarf planet Ceres. Sadly, they don’t reveal any more about the mysterious bright spots on the surface – but they do show a stunning new view of a pyramid-like structure, seen above.
The mountain in the image towers about six kilometers (four miles) above the surface. Its slopes are brightly streaked while its perimeter on the surface has a sharp definition. Interestingly there is no debris around the base of the mountain, and it also seems to stand alone, rather than being part of a mountain range.

In the other images, the spacecraft revealed a mountain ridge on Ceres, and also a large crater named for the Germanic goddess Gaue. Dawn has also been using its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer to gatherdata on ... more »

'Stunning New Images Of Ceres Show A Lonely Pyramid-like Mountain ... Jonathan O'Callaghan -- "ASA’s Dawn spacecraft has taken its closest images yet of the dwarf planet Ceres. Sadly, they don’t reveal any more about the mysterious bright spots on the surface – but they do show a stunning new view of a pyramid-like structure, seen above.
The mountain in the image towers about six kilometers (four miles) above the surface. Its slopes are brightly streaked while its perimeter on the surface has a sharp definition. Interestingly there is no debris around the base of the mountain, and it also seems to stand alone, rather than being part of a mountain range.

In the other images, the spacecraft revealed a mountain ridge on Ceres, and also a large crater named for the Germanic goddess Gaue. Dawn has also been using its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer to gather data on the minerals that can be found on the surface of Ceres.

Dawn, which arrived in orbit around Ceres in March this year after visiting the protoplanet Vesta in 2011 and 2012, is currently orbiting 1,470 kilometers (915 miles) above the surface. Over the next few months, it will get closer and closer, reaching its lowest altitude – 375 kilometers (230 miles) – in October. At this height, we can expect even more stunning images.

In its current orbit, it takes Dawn 11 days to capture images of the whole surface of Ceres over the course of 14 orbits. In the next two months, the entire surface will be mapped six times. Images at this height have a resolution of 140 meters (460 feet) per pixel, and each covers less than one percent of the surface.

"Dawn is performing flawlessly in this new orbit as it conducts its ambitious exploration," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer and mission director, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, in a statement. "The spacecraft's view is now three times as sharp as in its previous mapping orbit, revealing exciting new details of this intriguing dwarf planet."

But while these images are all well and good, let’s be honest: we all want to know what caused the mysterious bright spots on the surface. Are they caused by ice, salt flats, or something else? We’ll have to wait to find out. ...

MORE: http://www.iflscience.com/space/dawn-returns-stunning-new-images-ceres-including-pyramid-mountain___

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2015-08-26 14:52:46 (8 comments, 5 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

Don’t sneeze! Monks spend 30 hours building intricate artworks with millions of grains of sand - then brush them away to teach followers nothing lasts forever ... "A group of monks intricately spread millions of grains of sand to create stunning artworks - only for them to be swept away.

The series of mandala artworks take a group of ten monks up to 30 hours to complete.

They use millions of colourful grains of sand only to brush them away once complete to promote the understanding nothing lasts forever.

The group of travelling monks, from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Karnataka State, India, tour by the name of The Mystical Arts of Tibet.

Each of their sand-painted works begins with a drawing process. These examples were created at Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas.

The coloured sand is then poured from traditional metalf... more »

Don’t sneeze! Monks spend 30 hours building intricate artworks with millions of grains of sand - then brush them away to teach followers nothing lasts forever ... "A group of monks intricately spread millions of grains of sand to create stunning artworks - only for them to be swept away.

The series of mandala artworks take a group of ten monks up to 30 hours to complete.

They use millions of colourful grains of sand only to brush them away once complete to promote the understanding nothing lasts forever.

The group of travelling monks, from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Karnataka State, India, tour by the name of The Mystical Arts of Tibet.

Each of their sand-painted works begins with a drawing process. These examples were created at Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas.

The coloured sand is then poured from traditional metal funnels, called chak-purs.

This technique takes a long time to perfect, as the monks not only need to have a great deal of patience, but also need to learn the correct breathing technique so they have optimum control over the chak-purs.

The monks hold the chak-purs in one hand, running the metal rod across a grated surface, which creates a vibration to make the sand flow.

Their work has received praise from the likes of the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere.

Gala Rinpoche, a spokesperson for the Mystical Arts of Tibet, said: 'The learning process for mandala sand painting is quite vigorous and takes long time to learn. ..."

MORE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616621/Dont-sneeze-Monks-spend-30-hours-building-intricate-artworks-millions-grains-sand-brush-away-teach-followers-lasts-forever.html___

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2015-08-25 19:07:27 (22 comments, 31 reshares, 153 +1s)Open 

Guided Busways ... "Between Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives in the English county of Cambridgeshire, runs a special bus service over a special route that consist of two narrow concrete rails instead of a regular asphalt road. The buses travel with each set of wheels over the parallel rails, just like a train. The margin for error is narrow, yet the buses attain speeds of 90 km per hour (55 miles/h). The best part is, the driver doesn’t even hold the steering wheel.

Guided buses combine the elements of both bus and rail systems to achieve a new mode of transport that is faster than regular buses because they don’t have to share congested public roads, and cheaper than rails. The buses are fitted with special guide-wheels that engage the short vertical kerbs on either side of the guideway. These guide wheels push the steering mechanism of the bus, keeping it centered on the track.On ... more »

Guided Busways ... "Between Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives in the English county of Cambridgeshire, runs a special bus service over a special route that consist of two narrow concrete rails instead of a regular asphalt road. The buses travel with each set of wheels over the parallel rails, just like a train. The margin for error is narrow, yet the buses attain speeds of 90 km per hour (55 miles/h). The best part is, the driver doesn’t even hold the steering wheel.

Guided buses combine the elements of both bus and rail systems to achieve a new mode of transport that is faster than regular buses because they don’t have to share congested public roads, and cheaper than rails. The buses are fitted with special guide-wheels that engage the short vertical kerbs on either side of the guideway. These guide wheels push the steering mechanism of the bus, keeping it centered on the track. On a normal road, the bus behaves like a regular bus and is steered in the normal way.

Guided buses is mostly a British thing. There are only a couple of such examples outside the United Kingdom — one in Japan (Yutorīto Line, Nagoya), and another one in Australia (O-Bahn Busway, Adelaide), and an experimental busway in Essen, Germany.
The first guided busway in the United Kingdom was in Birmingham, branded as Tracline 65. It was an experimental 600 meter long track that was in operation between 1984 and 1987. Today, there at least seven major guided busways in the United Kingdom and several shorter ones and more are in the planning stages. In Mannheim, Germany, from 1992 to 2005 a guided busway shared the tram alignment for a few hundred meters, which allowed buses to avoid a congested stretch of road where there was no space for an extra traffic lane. It was discontinued as the majority of buses fitted with guide wheels were withdrawn for age reasons.

The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, opened in August 2011, is the longest guided busway in the world at 25 km long. Before that, the 12 kilometer-long O-Bahn in Adelaide, which was opened in 1989, was the longest. The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway was such a success that 2.5 million trips were made in the first year itself – 750,000 more than forecasted. According to the Cambridgeshire County Council, 24 percent had switched to the busway after making the same journey by car. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/guided-busways.html___

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2015-08-25 14:45:52 (8 comments, 15 reshares, 133 +1s)Open 

Crested Saguaro Cactus ... "The giant saguaro cactus is a universal symbol of the American west. These plants are native to only a small region of southern Arizona, the adjoining Mexican State of Sonora and extreme southeastern California, yet their tall, columnar shape is familiar to any desert traveller.

The saguaro cactus is composed of a tall, thick, fluted, columnar stem about two feet in diameter with several large arms that curve upward in the most distinctive conformation of all Southwestern cacti. But sometimes they produce a fan-shaped form of uncontrolled growth at the tip. These odd growths are referred to as cresting (or cristate), and are very rare occurrences. It is estimated that this condition affects approximately one out of every 200,000 saguaros. Originally, less than 200 of these abnormalities were thought to be in existence. However, more than 2,000 have been... more »

Crested Saguaro Cactus ... "The giant saguaro cactus is a universal symbol of the American west. These plants are native to only a small region of southern Arizona, the adjoining Mexican State of Sonora and extreme southeastern California, yet their tall, columnar shape is familiar to any desert traveller.

The saguaro cactus is composed of a tall, thick, fluted, columnar stem about two feet in diameter with several large arms that curve upward in the most distinctive conformation of all Southwestern cacti. But sometimes they produce a fan-shaped form of uncontrolled growth at the tip. These odd growths are referred to as cresting (or cristate), and are very rare occurrences. It is estimated that this condition affects approximately one out of every 200,000 saguaros. Originally, less than 200 of these abnormalities were thought to be in existence. However, more than 2,000 have been discovered so far, and biologists believe that there may be many more.

The cause of cresting, also know as fasciation, in saguaro is not fully understood. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation, or caused by micro-organisms, or physical damage such as lightning strike or freezing.

According to Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, “the most widely accepted explanation is that cresting is caused by damage to the apex, either mechanically (man made or nature-caused) or by freezing. The crest doesn’t harm the saguaro, which can continue to produce flowers and fruit.”

The National Park Service website wasn’t very helpful, but Wikipedia has a general article on ‘fasciation’ which attributes this abnormal growth in plants to a wide range of factors including hormonal, genetic, bacterial, fungal, viral and environmental causes.

Quoting directly from the article:

Fasciation can be caused by hormonal imbalances in the meristematic cells of plants, which are cells where growth can occur. Fasciation can also be caused by random genetic mutation. Bacterial and viral infections can also cause fasciation.

Additional environmental factors that can cause fasciation include fungi, mite or insect attack and exposure to chemicals. General damage to a plant's growing tip and exposure to cold and frost can also cause fasciation.

There are many places within Saguaro National Park where you can see these unique specimens. There are at least 27 documented crested saguaros on the East side of the National Park, and 30 on the West. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/crested-saguaro-cactus.html___

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2015-08-25 14:41:46 (11 comments, 27 reshares, 86 +1s)Open 

*NOW I understand ..." ... why so many jets land in Las Vegas.

*NOW I understand ..." ... why so many jets land in Las Vegas.___

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2015-08-25 13:01:07 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony ... Mike Wall -- "Could the first Mars colony be called Buffettville, or Zuckerburgh?

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One aims to establish a permanent settlement on the Red Planet, beginning with the touchdown of the first four pioneers in 2027. The biggest challenges facing the project are financial rather than technical, so a big donation from a deep-pocketed person concerned about his or her legacy could make a huge difference, Mars One representatives said.

Mars One "is so ambitious and — I think 'crazy' is the right word — that we might actually get a phone call from a billionaire who says, 'I want to make this happen. I want the first city on Mars to be called Gatesville or Slim City," said Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp, presumably referring to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gatesand... more »

Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony ... Mike Wall -- "Could the first Mars colony be called Buffettville, or Zuckerburgh?

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One aims to establish a permanent settlement on the Red Planet, beginning with the touchdown of the first four pioneers in 2027. The biggest challenges facing the project are financial rather than technical, so a big donation from a deep-pocketed person concerned about his or her legacy could make a huge difference, Mars One representatives said.

Mars One "is so ambitious and — I think 'crazy' is the right word — that we might actually get a phone call from a billionaire who says, 'I want to make this happen. I want the first city on Mars to be called Gatesville or Slim City," said Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp, presumably referring to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu.

"That will change everything," Lansdorp said Aug. 13 at the 18th annual International MarsSociety Convention, which was held in Washington, D.C.

Debating Mars One

Lansdorp made his remarks during an organized debate about the feasibility of the Mars One project, which pitted Lansdorp and Barry Finger, director of life-support systems at Paragon Space Development Systems Corp., a Mars One supplier, against MIT graduate students Sydney Do and Andrew Owens.
Do and Owens helped perform a 2014 study that questioned the feasibility of Mars One's plan. The duo explained the study team's findings, and its reasoning, during the debate.

Do and Owens walked the audience through the steps Mars One aims to take in advance of the 2027 crewed landing. The organization aims to launch a Mars lander and an orbiting communications satellite in 2020, a scouting rover and second commsat (which will circle the sun instead of the Red Planet) in 2022, and six separate cargo missions in 2024. The 2024 launches will loft a second rover, two human habitats, two life-support units and a "supply unit," according to Mars One's website.

The organization has estimated that taking these steps, and then landing four astronauts on the Red Planet in 2027, will cost about $6 billion.

Do and Owens said that's overly optimistic. It cost NASA about $102 billion in today's dollars to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969, the two grad students pointed out. And Mars One's plan will require 14 separate launches, they added, as well as the development of seven new systems, including an intelligent rover; technology capable of delivering to the Martian surface payloads at least 7.5 times as heavy as the 1-ton Curiosity rover, which is the heftiest thing ever landed softly on Mars to date; and life-support systems of unprecedented endurance and reliability.

"Can they do all of this — accomplish these development challenges — for $6 billion in the next 12 years?" Do asked the audience. "Our belief, based on the data, the analysis that we've made and the historical analysis that we've done, is that no, they cannot do this, and it is infeasible."

Mars One's long-term vision involves launching new crews of four toward the Red Planet every two years to keep building up the off-world settlement. (There are no plans at the moment to bring any of these pioneers back to Earth.) The organization estimates that each of these subsequent crewed missions will cost about $4 billion. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30357-mars-one-colony-billionaires-wanted.html___

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2015-08-25 13:00:29 (31 comments, 14 reshares, 58 +1s)Open 

Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony ... Mike Wall -- "Could the first Mars colony be called Buffettville, or Zuckerburgh?

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One aims to establish a permanent settlement on the Red Planet, beginning with the touchdown of the first four pioneers in 2027. The biggest challenges facing the project are financial rather than technical, so a big donation from a deep-pocketed person concerned about his or her legacy could make a huge difference, Mars One representatives said.

Mars One "is so ambitious and — I think 'crazy' is the right word — that we might actually get a phone call from a billionaire who says, 'I want to make this happen. I want the first city on Mars to be called Gatesville or Slim City," said Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp, presumably referring to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gatesand... more »

Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony ... Mike Wall -- "Could the first Mars colony be called Buffettville, or Zuckerburgh?

The Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One aims to establish a permanent settlement on the Red Planet, beginning with the touchdown of the first four pioneers in 2027. The biggest challenges facing the project are financial rather than technical, so a big donation from a deep-pocketed person concerned about his or her legacy could make a huge difference, Mars One representatives said.

Mars One "is so ambitious and — I think 'crazy' is the right word — that we might actually get a phone call from a billionaire who says, 'I want to make this happen. I want the first city on Mars to be called Gatesville or Slim City," said Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp, presumably referring to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu.

"That will change everything," Lansdorp said Aug. 13 at the 18th annual International MarsSociety Convention, which was held in Washington, D.C.

Debating Mars One

Lansdorp made his remarks during an organized debate about the feasibility of the Mars One project, which pitted Lansdorp and Barry Finger, director of life-support systems at Paragon Space Development Systems Corp., a Mars One supplier, against MIT graduate students Sydney Do and Andrew Owens.
Do and Owens helped perform a 2014 study that questioned the feasibility of Mars One's plan. The duo explained the study team's findings, and its reasoning, during the debate.

Do and Owens walked the audience through the steps Mars One aims to take in advance of the 2027 crewed landing. The organization aims to launch a Mars lander and an orbiting communications satellite in 2020, a scouting rover and second commsat (which will circle the sun instead of the Red Planet) in 2022, and six separate cargo missions in 2024. The 2024 launches will loft a second rover, two human habitats, two life-support units and a "supply unit," according to Mars One's website.

The organization has estimated that taking these steps, and then landing four astronauts on the Red Planet in 2027, will cost about $6 billion.

Do and Owens said that's overly optimistic. It cost NASA about $102 billion in today's dollars to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969, the two grad students pointed out. And Mars One's plan will require 14 separate launches, they added, as well as the development of seven new systems, including an intelligent rover; technology capable of delivering to the Martian surface payloads at least 7.5 times as heavy as the 1-ton Curiosity rover, which is the heftiest thing ever landed softly on Mars to date; and life-support systems of unprecedented endurance and reliability.

"Can they do all of this — accomplish these development challenges — for $6 billion in the next 12 years?" Do asked the audience. "Our belief, based on the data, the analysis that we've made and the historical analysis that we've done, is that no, they cannot do this, and it is infeasible."

Mars One's long-term vision involves launching new crews of four toward the Red Planet every two years to keep building up the off-world settlement. (There are no plans at the moment to bring any of these pioneers back to Earth.) The organization estimates that each of these subsequent crewed missions will cost about $4 billion. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30357-mars-one-colony-billionaires-wanted.html___

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2015-08-25 12:48:33 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Private Space Stations Could Be a Reality by 2025 ... Douglas Messier -- " SAN JOSE, California — There are strong prospects that commercial space stations will become a reality within the next 10 years if entrepreneurs and NASA can properly manage the tricky transition from the government-run International Space Station to privately built and operated facilities, experts say.

"This is an exciting moment," said Alex MacDonald, program executive for NASA's Emerging Space Office. "We are going to have a legitimate opportunity to run that great experiment of privately owned facilities, if you guys are able to raise the money to do it. And that's really the exciting part."

MacDonald was addressing entrepreneurs who were on a commercial space station panel with him at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2015 conference, which took placeh... more »

Private Space Stations Could Be a Reality by 2025 ... Douglas Messier -- " SAN JOSE, California — There are strong prospects that commercial space stations will become a reality within the next 10 years if entrepreneurs and NASA can properly manage the tricky transition from the government-run International Space Station to privately built and operated facilities, experts say.

"This is an exciting moment," said Alex MacDonald, program executive for NASA's Emerging Space Office. "We are going to have a legitimate opportunity to run that great experiment of privately owned facilities, if you guys are able to raise the money to do it. And that's really the exciting part."

MacDonald was addressing entrepreneurs who were on a commercial space station panel with him at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2015 conference, which took place here last month. ..."

http://www.space.com/30359-private-space-stations-reality-2025.html___

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2015-08-25 12:42:06 (0 comments, 7 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Private Space Stations Could Be a Reality by 2025 ... Douglas Messier -- " SAN JOSE, California — There are strong prospects that commercial space stations will become a reality within the next 10 years if entrepreneurs and NASA can properly manage the tricky transition from the government-run International Space Station to privately built and operated facilities, experts say.

"This is an exciting moment," said Alex MacDonald, program executive for NASA's Emerging Space Office. "We are going to have a legitimate opportunity to run that great experiment of privately owned facilities, if you guys are able to raise the money to do it. And that's really the exciting part."

MacDonald was addressing entrepreneurs who were on a commercial space station panel with him at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2015 conference, which took placeh... more »

Private Space Stations Could Be a Reality by 2025 ... Douglas Messier -- " SAN JOSE, California — There are strong prospects that commercial space stations will become a reality within the next 10 years if entrepreneurs and NASA can properly manage the tricky transition from the government-run International Space Station to privately built and operated facilities, experts say.

"This is an exciting moment," said Alex MacDonald, program executive for NASA's Emerging Space Office. "We are going to have a legitimate opportunity to run that great experiment of privately owned facilities, if you guys are able to raise the money to do it. And that's really the exciting part."

MacDonald was addressing entrepreneurs who were on a commercial space station panel with him at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2015 conference, which took place here last month. ..."

http://www.space.com/30359-private-space-stations-reality-2025.html___

posted image

2015-08-24 14:14:18 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Lepakshi_Temple, India ... "At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html

Lepakshi_Temple, India ... "At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html___

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2015-08-24 14:13:36 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Lepakshi_Temple, India ... "At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html

Lepakshi_Temple, India ... "At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html___

posted image

2015-08-24 14:11:29 (3 comments, 17 reshares, 30 +1s)Open 

Lepakshi_Temple, India ... "At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html

Lepakshi_Temple, India ... "At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html___

posted image

2015-08-24 14:07:00 (5 comments, 5 reshares, 30 +1s)Open 

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple ... "The beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, is located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India, about 15 km east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km north of Bangalore. Built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture, the temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the... more »

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple ... "The beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, is located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India, about 15 km east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km north of Bangalore. Built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture, the temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world.

Veerabhadra temple is famed for another engineering wonder. Among the 70 stone pillars, there is one that hangs from the ceiling. The base of the pillar barely touches the ground and is possible to pass objects such as a thin sheet of paper or a piece of cloth from one side to the other. It is said that the pillar is a bit dislodged from its original position when a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

Veerabhadra temple was built by the brothers Viranna and Virupanna, who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of King Achutaraya.

The village Lepakshi holds a significant place in the great Indian epic Ramayana. Legend has it that the bird Jatayu, wounded by the king of Lanka, Ravana, fell here after a futile battle against the king who was carrying away Sita, the wife of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. When Rama reached the spot, he saw the bird and said compassionately to him, “Le Pakshi” — meaning “Arise, bird” in Telegu. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html___

posted image

2015-08-24 14:06:15 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple ... "The beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, is located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India, about 15 km east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km north of Bangalore. Built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture, the temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the... more »

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple ... "The beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, is located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India, about 15 km east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km north of Bangalore. Built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture, the temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world.

Veerabhadra temple is famed for another engineering wonder. Among the 70 stone pillars, there is one that hangs from the ceiling. The base of the pillar barely touches the ground and is possible to pass objects such as a thin sheet of paper or a piece of cloth from one side to the other. It is said that the pillar is a bit dislodged from its original position when a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

Veerabhadra temple was built by the brothers Viranna and Virupanna, who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of King Achutaraya.

The village Lepakshi holds a significant place in the great Indian epic Ramayana. Legend has it that the bird Jatayu, wounded by the king of Lanka, Ravana, fell here after a futile battle against the king who was carrying away Sita, the wife of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. When Rama reached the spot, he saw the bird and said compassionately to him, “Le Pakshi” — meaning “Arise, bird” in Telegu. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html___

posted image

2015-08-24 14:05:46 (4 comments, 22 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple ... "The beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, is located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India, about 15 km east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km north of Bangalore. Built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture, the temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the... more »

The Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple ... "The beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, is located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India, about 15 km east of Hindupur and approximately 120 km north of Bangalore. Built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture, the temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world.

Veerabhadra temple is famed for another engineering wonder. Among the 70 stone pillars, there is one that hangs from the ceiling. The base of the pillar barely touches the ground and is possible to pass objects such as a thin sheet of paper or a piece of cloth from one side to the other. It is said that the pillar is a bit dislodged from its original position when a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

Veerabhadra temple was built by the brothers Viranna and Virupanna, who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of King Achutaraya.

The village Lepakshi holds a significant place in the great Indian epic Ramayana. Legend has it that the bird Jatayu, wounded by the king of Lanka, Ravana, fell here after a futile battle against the king who was carrying away Sita, the wife of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. When Rama reached the spot, he saw the bird and said compassionately to him, “Le Pakshi” — meaning “Arise, bird” in Telegu. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-hanging-pillar-of-lepakshi-temple.html___

posted image

2015-08-24 11:25:56 (12 comments, 2 reshares, 55 +1s)Open 

Will we have the fortitude to rescue stranded astronauts? An important question.

Epic Trailer for 'The Martian' Questions the Value of a Human Life in Space ... Calla Cofield -- " An epic new trailer for the movie "The Martian" looks even more intense than the last one, and it raises some intriguing questions about the value of human life in space exploration.

Set to the howling Jimi Hendrix song "All Along the Watchtower," the new trailer for "The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott, features some thrilling (and stressful) clips of astronauts braving Martian storms, rocket launches and other near-death experiences. The film focuses on astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who is mistakenly presumed dead by his fellow Mars explorers and is left behind on the Red Planet.

When NASA officials discover that Watney is alive, they must decide whether to rescue him and, in doing so, risk the lives of the other six crewmembers. At one point in the trailer, the director of NASA (played by Jeff Daniels) grapples with the decision, stating, "It's bigger than one person," to which another character replies, "No. It's not." The film raises the question: If a person willingly embraces the risks of space exploration, should he or she be rescued at all costs?

Reddit

An epic new trailer for the movie "The Martian" looks even more intense than the last one, and it raises some intriguing questions about the value of human life in space exploration.
Set to the howling Jimi Hendrix song "All Along the Watchtower," the new trailer for "The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott, features some thrilling (and stressful) clips of astronauts braving Martian storms, rocket launches and other near-death experiences. The film focuses on astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who is mistakenly presumed dead by his fellow Mars explorers and is left behind on the Red Planet.
When NASA officials discover that Watney is alive, they must decide whether to rescue him and, in doing so, risk the lives of the other six crewmembers. At one point in the trailer, the director of NASA (played by Jeff Daniels) grapples with the decision, stating, "It's bigger than one person," to which another character replies, "No. It's not." The film raises the question: If a person willingly embraces the risks of space exploration, should he or she be rescued at all costs?

In an earlier trailer, Watney makes clear that he understands the risks of space exploration, saying, "It's space. It doesn't cooperate. I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you. And you're going to say, 'This is it. This is how I end.'"
In the new trailer, we hear the end of that quote, in which Watney goes on to say, "Now, you can either accept that, or you can get to work."

Stranded on Mars with only enough food and water to last 50 days, Watney must wait four years for a rescue mission to arrive. As a result, he's forced to find a way to grow food on a lifeless planet, and produce water. Other threats to his life and his safety arise, and he proclaims at the end, "No matter what happens, tell the world, tell my family, that I never stopped fighting to make it home."

Meanwhile, NASA and Watney's crewmates must decide whether to rescue "the Martian." By sending the crew back to the Red Planet, the agency would be risking six lives to save one, and thus rejects the proposal. The crewmembers must then decide whether they will not only risk their lives, but declare mutiny by going against NASA's orders. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30313-the-martian-new-trailer-human-life.html___Will we have the fortitude to rescue stranded astronauts? An important question.

posted image

2015-08-24 11:21:46 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Epic Trailer for 'The Martian' Questions the Value of a Human Life in Space ... Calla Cofield -- " An epic new trailer for the movie "The Martian" looks even more intense than the last one, and it raises some intriguing questions about the value of human life in space exploration.

Set to the howling Jimi Hendrix song "All Along the Watchtower," the new trailer for "The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott, features some thrilling (and stressful) clips of astronauts braving Martian storms, rocket launches and other near-death experiences. The film focuses on astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who is mistakenly presumed dead by his fellow Mars explorers and is left behind on the Red Planet.

When NASA officials discover that Watney is alive, they must decide whether to rescue him and, in doing so, risk the lives of the others... more »

Epic Trailer for 'The Martian' Questions the Value of a Human Life in Space ... Calla Cofield -- " An epic new trailer for the movie "The Martian" looks even more intense than the last one, and it raises some intriguing questions about the value of human life in space exploration.

Set to the howling Jimi Hendrix song "All Along the Watchtower," the new trailer for "The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott, features some thrilling (and stressful) clips of astronauts braving Martian storms, rocket launches and other near-death experiences. The film focuses on astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who is mistakenly presumed dead by his fellow Mars explorers and is left behind on the Red Planet.

When NASA officials discover that Watney is alive, they must decide whether to rescue him and, in doing so, risk the lives of the other six crewmembers. At one point in the trailer, the director of NASA (played by Jeff Daniels) grapples with the decision, stating, "It's bigger than one person," to which another character replies, "No. It's not." The film raises the question: If a person willingly embraces the risks of space exploration, should he or she be rescued at all costs?

Reddit

An epic new trailer for the movie "The Martian" looks even more intense than the last one, and it raises some intriguing questions about the value of human life in space exploration.
Set to the howling Jimi Hendrix song "All Along the Watchtower," the new trailer for "The Martian," directed by Ridley Scott, features some thrilling (and stressful) clips of astronauts braving Martian storms, rocket launches and other near-death experiences. The film focuses on astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who is mistakenly presumed dead by his fellow Mars explorers and is left behind on the Red Planet.
When NASA officials discover that Watney is alive, they must decide whether to rescue him and, in doing so, risk the lives of the other six crewmembers. At one point in the trailer, the director of NASA (played by Jeff Daniels) grapples with the decision, stating, "It's bigger than one person," to which another character replies, "No. It's not." The film raises the question: If a person willingly embraces the risks of space exploration, should he or she be rescued at all costs?

In an earlier trailer, Watney makes clear that he understands the risks of space exploration, saying, "It's space. It doesn't cooperate. I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you. And you're going to say, 'This is it. This is how I end.'"
In the new trailer, we hear the end of that quote, in which Watney goes on to say, "Now, you can either accept that, or you can get to work."

Stranded on Mars with only enough food and water to last 50 days, Watney must wait four years for a rescue mission to arrive. As a result, he's forced to find a way to grow food on a lifeless planet, and produce water. Other threats to his life and his safety arise, and he proclaims at the end, "No matter what happens, tell the world, tell my family, that I never stopped fighting to make it home."

Meanwhile, NASA and Watney's crewmates must decide whether to rescue "the Martian." By sending the crew back to the Red Planet, the agency would be risking six lives to save one, and thus rejects the proposal. The crewmembers must then decide whether they will not only risk their lives, but declare mutiny by going against NASA's orders. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30313-the-martian-new-trailer-human-life.html___

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2015-08-23 16:43:17 (33 comments, 24 reshares, 215 +1s)Open 

The Steps of Pittsburgh ... "he city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, the United States, is located over an unruly terrain of hills, hollows, valleys and three intersecting rivers. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century, when Pittsburgh was growing as a coal and steel town, factory workers built houses in the hills rising above the flat riverbanks that were lined with factories. In order to commute to work, city officials and residents built staircases along the mountainside, originally of wood and later with concrete that ran up and down and all over creating a chaotic place that is notoriously difficult to navigate.

Revered American journalist Ernie Pyle famously wrote about the city in 1937:

Pittsburgh is undoubtedly the cockeyedest city in the United States. Physically, it is absolutely irrational. It must have been laid out by a mountain goat... I've flown over... more »

The Steps of Pittsburgh ... "he city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, the United States, is located over an unruly terrain of hills, hollows, valleys and three intersecting rivers. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century, when Pittsburgh was growing as a coal and steel town, factory workers built houses in the hills rising above the flat riverbanks that were lined with factories. In order to commute to work, city officials and residents built staircases along the mountainside, originally of wood and later with concrete that ran up and down and all over creating a chaotic place that is notoriously difficult to navigate.

Revered American journalist Ernie Pyle famously wrote about the city in 1937:

Pittsburgh is undoubtedly the cockeyedest city in the United States. Physically, it is absolutely irrational. It must have been laid out by a mountain goat... I've flown over it, and driven all around it, and studied maps of it, and I hardly know one end of Pittsburgh from the other... There's just one balm -- people who live here can't find their way around, either.

Many of the city's neighborhoods are steeply sloped with two-lane roads. “Some streets are narrow, some wide. None runs more than a few blocks in a straight line,” wrote Ernie Pyle.

It's up and down, and around and around, and in betwixt… You may have a friend who lives half a mile away. But to get there you circle three miles around a mountain ridge, cross two bridges, go through a tunnel, follow a valley, skirt the edge of a cliff, and wind up at your friend's back door an hour after dark.

Certain sections of the city are so steep and narrow that these neighborhoods are serviced by special fire trucks that are small and have tighter turning radius, when they get called in case of emergency. Many of the streets that appear on maps are, in fact, not streets at all but long staircases that often surprise unsuspecting visitors. Just like real streets, they have names, signs and even house numbers.

Ray DeMichiei, Pittsburgh's deputy director of emergency management, said he often had to find detours when he worked on a city ambulance in 1975. “There were numerous times when I was navigating and the driver's driving that we screeched at a set of city steps,” he said.

According to retired geophysicist Bob Regan, who has spent years cataloguing every stairway in Pittsburgh, there are a total of 712 public stairways and 44,645 steps in the city, accounting for 24,108 feet of vertical height and 23 miles in distance. 

Most of the stairways were built in the 1940s and 1950s, and not all of them are in a pretty state. The city allocates just $200,000 each year for step maintenance but repairing just one set of steps can cost $100,000. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-steps-of-pittsburgh.html___

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2015-08-23 16:34:06 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

The Santa Justa Elevator in Lisbon ... "The Santa Justa Elevator, Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese, is a historic outdoor elevator located in the civil parish of Santa Justa, in the capital city of Lisbon, in Portugal. This early 20th century wrought iron elevator connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher level Largo do Carmo, and has been providing an invaluable service to the commuters by eliminating the slog up Carmo Hill. The beautiful ironwork with neo-gothic arches, sumptuous polished wood carriages and brass dials, was such a wondrous piece of art that it was adored by Lisbon's residents ever since its construction. Today, it’s the only remaining vertical lift in the city and a famous tourist attraction.

Lisbon has many steep hills (the city is nicknamed ‘The City of Seven Hills’) that posed significant challenges to its citizens, which wereiniti... more »

The Santa Justa Elevator in Lisbon ... "The Santa Justa Elevator, Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese, is a historic outdoor elevator located in the civil parish of Santa Justa, in the capital city of Lisbon, in Portugal. This early 20th century wrought iron elevator connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher level Largo do Carmo, and has been providing an invaluable service to the commuters by eliminating the slog up Carmo Hill. The beautiful ironwork with neo-gothic arches, sumptuous polished wood carriages and brass dials, was such a wondrous piece of art that it was adored by Lisbon's residents ever since its construction. Today, it’s the only remaining vertical lift in the city and a famous tourist attraction.

Lisbon has many steep hills (the city is nicknamed ‘The City of Seven Hills’) that posed significant challenges to its citizens, which were initially overcome by installing inclines pulled by animals. During the industrial age several steam-powered funiculars such as the Elevador da Gloria were built and are still used to this day, now run by electricity. One of the inclines was replaced with a large elevator, the Elevador de Santa Justa.

The elevator was built by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, who was once a student of the great iron craftsman Gustave Eiffel, whose crowning glory was the magnificent Eiffel Tower. Construction of the elevator began in 1900 and was finished in 1902. The tower of the elevator is 45 meters tall and includes two elevator cabins, decorated in wood, mirrors and windows, and has a capacity of 29 passengers in each. At the top of the elevator there is a viewing platform which provides great views of the city.

The original elevator was powered by a giant steam engine, but it was replaced by an electrical motor in 1907, which still powers the lift today. In 1973, the Elevador de Santa Justa came under public ownership and was amalgamated into the government run Carris Corporation, which also manages the tram network. In 2002, the Elevador de Santa Justa and the three remaining cable railways of Lavra, Glória and Bica, were classified as National Monuments. In 1998, the underground Baixa-Chiado metro station was opened which provided commuters an alternative route via a series of escalators that lead them straight to the Chiado Square. Most tourists however will take a ride on the Santa Justa elevator, at least once, if only for its historic significance. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-santa-justa-elevator-in-lisbon.html___

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2015-08-23 16:09:26 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

interesting article on how we speak (and thus, write) our language.

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents? ... something new to me, SO we Americans actually speak the Queen's English while you Brits speak differently, eh? ... " In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely "rhotic." Rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound in such words as "hard" and "winter," while non-rhotic speakers do not. Today, however, non-rhotic speech is common throughout most of Britain. For example, most modern Brits would tell you it's been a "hahd wintuh."

It was around the time of the American Revolution that non-rhotic speech came into use among the upper class in southern England, in and around London. According to John Algeo in "The Cambridge History of the English Language" (Cambridge University Press, 2001), this shift occurred because people of low birth rank who had become wealthy during the Industrial Revolution were seeking ways to distinguish themselves from other commoners; they cultivated the prestigious non-rhotic pronunciation in order to demonstrate their new upper-class status.

"London pronunciation became the prerogative of a new breed of specialists — orthoepists and teachers of elocution. The orthoepists decided upon correct pronunciations, compiled pronouncing dictionaries and, in private and expensive tutoring sessions, drilled enterprising citizens in fashionable articulation," Algeo wrote.

The lofty manner of speech developed by these specialists gradually became standardized — it is officially called "Received Pronunciation" — and it spread across Britain. However, people in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland have largely maintained their traditional rhotic accents.

Most American accents have also remained rhotic, with some exceptions: New York and Boston accents have become non-rhotic. According to Algeo, after the Revolutionary War, these cities were "under the strongest influence by the British elite." ..."

http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html___interesting article on how we speak (and thus, write) our language.

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2015-08-23 13:26:05 (65 comments, 82 reshares, 223 +1s)Open 

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents? ... something new to me, SO we Americans actually speak the Queen's English while you Brits speak differently, eh? ... " In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely... more »

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents? ... something new to me, SO we Americans actually speak the Queen's English while you Brits speak differently, eh? ... " In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely "rhotic." Rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound in such words as "hard" and "winter," while non-rhotic speakers do not. Today, however, non-rhotic speech is common throughout most of Britain. For example, most modern Brits would tell you it's been a "hahd wintuh."

It was around the time of the American Revolution that non-rhotic speech came into use among the upper class in southern England, in and around London. According to John Algeo in "The Cambridge History of the English Language" (Cambridge University Press, 2001), this shift occurred because people of low birth rank who had become wealthy during the Industrial Revolution were seeking ways to distinguish themselves from other commoners; they cultivated the prestigious non-rhotic pronunciation in order to demonstrate their new upper-class status.

"London pronunciation became the prerogative of a new breed of specialists — orthoepists and teachers of elocution. The orthoepists decided upon correct pronunciations, compiled pronouncing dictionaries and, in private and expensive tutoring sessions, drilled enterprising citizens in fashionable articulation," Algeo wrote.

The lofty manner of speech developed by these specialists gradually became standardized — it is officially called "Received Pronunciation" — and it spread across Britain. However, people in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland have largely maintained their traditional rhotic accents.

Most American accents have also remained rhotic, with some exceptions: New York and Boston accents have become non-rhotic. According to Algeo, after the Revolutionary War, these cities were "under the strongest influence by the British elite." ..."

http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html___

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2015-08-22 23:55:51 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

TWIN ARROWS TRADING POST ... A pair of giant roadside arrows are all that remains of a former Route 66 trading post ... "Like many an icon of Route 66, the Twin Arrows Trading Post has certainly seen better days. Situated on the side of I-40 in Arizona, the giant, yellow twin arrows still remain, standing out as a beacon to bored drivers, but the store and diner have fallen into disrepair.

Built in the late 1940s as Canyon Padre Trading Post, the store soon changed its name to Twin Arrows, seemingly inspired by nearby town of Two Guns. It was then that the iconic wooden arrows were built, planted in the parking lot to guide motorists to the trading post's doors. The post included a gas station, gift shop, and a Valentine diner.

Unfortunately the creation of a nearby interstate led to s swift decrease in road traffic, and combined with the changing cultural tastes that... more »

TWIN ARROWS TRADING POST ... A pair of giant roadside arrows are all that remains of a former Route 66 trading post ... "Like many an icon of Route 66, the Twin Arrows Trading Post has certainly seen better days. Situated on the side of I-40 in Arizona, the giant, yellow twin arrows still remain, standing out as a beacon to bored drivers, but the store and diner have fallen into disrepair.

Built in the late 1940s as Canyon Padre Trading Post, the store soon changed its name to Twin Arrows, seemingly inspired by nearby town of Two Guns. It was then that the iconic wooden arrows were built, planted in the parking lot to guide motorists to the trading post's doors. The post included a gas station, gift shop, and a Valentine diner.

Unfortunately the creation of a nearby interstate led to s swift decrease in road traffic, and combined with the changing cultural tastes that were moving away from kitschy roadside attractions, the trading post fell into decline. Twin Arrows operated under different owners as best it could until 1995, when it was finally abandoned.

Currently the land is owned by the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino, nestled off an exit across the interstate. In 2009, the casino cleaned up the wooden arrows, but has not made any other efforts toward restoration of the trading post or diner. Barriers have since been erected around the abandoned buildings, though that doesn't appear to have stopped many folks from checking out this highway ruin. ..."

MORE: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/twin-arrows-trading-post___

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2015-08-22 22:41:49 (4 comments, 10 reshares, 53 +1s)Open 

Keep What You Find at The Crater of Diamonds ... "he Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the United States, is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public, where by paying a small entrance fee, anyone can look for diamonds and keep what they find. Originally a crater, this 37-acre land has been plowed into fine dirt by hundreds of thousands of amateur prospectors who dig through the dirt every year looking for precious stones. Some visitors use a special sieve known as a “seruca” to wash and separate the heavier diamonds from the lighter debris. Others just get down on their hands and knees, and claw at the dirt looking for the faint reflection of jewels in the furrows.

For more than one hundred years since its discovery, the Crater of Diamonds have yielded thousands of diamonds and other semi-precious gems including the 40-carat "Uncle Sam", the largestdiamo... more »

Keep What You Find at The Crater of Diamonds ... "he Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the United States, is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public, where by paying a small entrance fee, anyone can look for diamonds and keep what they find. Originally a crater, this 37-acre land has been plowed into fine dirt by hundreds of thousands of amateur prospectors who dig through the dirt every year looking for precious stones. Some visitors use a special sieve known as a “seruca” to wash and separate the heavier diamonds from the lighter debris. Others just get down on their hands and knees, and claw at the dirt looking for the faint reflection of jewels in the furrows.

For more than one hundred years since its discovery, the Crater of Diamonds have yielded thousands of diamonds and other semi-precious gems including the 40-carat "Uncle Sam", the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States. According to Park officials, visitors find more than 600 diamonds each year of all colors and grades, and over 31,000 diamonds have been found in the crater since it became a state park in 1972.

The diamonds that occur in Crater of Diamonds formed three billion years ago in the earth’s mantle some 60 to 100 miles below the earth’s surface where the tremendous pressures and temperatures crystalized them from carbon. About 100 million years ago, a rising column of magma brought this material near to the surface where it exploded in a large volcano creating an 80-acre crater and blanketing the surrounding landscape with ejecta. Within the ejecta were many fragments of mantle rock that were carried up to the surface with the rising magma. These fragments are known as "xenoliths" and they contained the diamonds.

Atmospheric weathering over the years eroded away the ejecta and leaving the stable and very resistant diamonds in the soil. Diamonds are often found loose in the soil along with other semi-precious gems such as amethyst, agate, and jasper.

Diamonds were first discovered at this location in 1906 when John Huddlestone found two strange crystals in the soil of his farm. Huddlestone suspected that his crystals might be diamonds and took them to a local jeweler for assessment who confirmed them to be genuine diamonds. Soon after the discovery, a "diamond rush" began and thousands of people descended upon the Murfreesboro area. Huddleston wasn't interested in diamond mining himself, so he sold the land to a group of investors for $36,000.

After several attempts at commercial mining failed, the property was opened as a public pay-to-prospect mine in the early 1950s and the name was changed to the "Crater of Diamonds". The State of Arkansas purchased the property in 1972 and began operating it as "Crater of Diamonds State Park."

Most of the diamonds found here are very small, about the size of a kitchen match head — too small to be cut and mounted as a stone, but occasionally visitors turn up with diamonds of over three or five carat which can be worth thousands of dollars. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/keep-what-you-find-at-crater-of-diamonds.html___

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2015-08-22 22:36:59 (67 comments, 62 reshares, 343 +1s)Open 

China’s New Motorway is Built Over Water ... "China has opened a new stretch of road that connects Xingshang County to the Zhaojun Bridge in central China’s Hubei province. A 4-km-long section of the 10-km route is built on top of an elevated bridge that runs along the middle of a river valley. The new route will cut down travel time from Xingshan to the Yiba Expressway to just 20 minutes, and at the same time treat drivers to a spectacular scenery. The journey originally took close to an hour along a steep and convoluted road.

According to the project manager of the road Chen Xingda, when the motorway was first proposed in 2013, there were three different possible routes. Two of the routes involved digging a tunnel through the mountains in the area. The third was a longer route and involved building on water. Engineers on the project chose the third option because that wouldena... more »

China’s New Motorway is Built Over Water ... "China has opened a new stretch of road that connects Xingshang County to the Zhaojun Bridge in central China’s Hubei province. A 4-km-long section of the 10-km route is built on top of an elevated bridge that runs along the middle of a river valley. The new route will cut down travel time from Xingshan to the Yiba Expressway to just 20 minutes, and at the same time treat drivers to a spectacular scenery. The journey originally took close to an hour along a steep and convoluted road.

According to the project manager of the road Chen Xingda, when the motorway was first proposed in 2013, there were three different possible routes. Two of the routes involved digging a tunnel through the mountains in the area. The third was a longer route and involved building on water. Engineers on the project chose the third option because that would enable them to protect the abundance of plants and woodland in the mountains. Those involved in the project claim this to be China’s first “ecological overwater road”.  ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/chinas-new-motorway-is-built-over-water.html___

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2015-08-22 12:22:50 (7 comments, 5 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

My Personal Library ... one of my goals in life is a small room like below to keep a few of my books in.

My Personal Library ... one of my goals in life is a small room like below to keep a few of my books in.___

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2015-08-22 12:17:35 (5 comments, 7 reshares, 54 +1s)Open 

Lagrange Points: Parking Places in Space ... Elizabeth Howell -- "Lagrange point is a location in space where the combined gravitational forces of two large bodies, such as Earth and the sun or Earth and the moon, equal the centrifugal force felt by a much smaller third body. The interaction of the forces creates a point of equilibrium where a spacecraft may be "parked" to make observations.

These points are named after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an 18th-century mathematician who wrote about them in a 1772 paper concerning what he called the "three-body problem." They are also called Lagrangian points and libration points. 

There are five Lagrange points around major bodies such as a planet or a star. Three of them lie along the line connecting the two large bodies. In the Earth-sun system, for example, the first point, L1, lies between Earth and the sun... more »

Lagrange Points: Parking Places in Space ... Elizabeth Howell -- "Lagrange point is a location in space where the combined gravitational forces of two large bodies, such as Earth and the sun or Earth and the moon, equal the centrifugal force felt by a much smaller third body. The interaction of the forces creates a point of equilibrium where a spacecraft may be "parked" to make observations.

These points are named after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, an 18th-century mathematician who wrote about them in a 1772 paper concerning what he called the "three-body problem." They are also called Lagrangian points and libration points. 

There are five Lagrange points around major bodies such as a planet or a star. Three of them lie along the line connecting the two large bodies. In the Earth-sun system, for example, the first point, L1, lies between Earth and the sun at about 1 million miles from Earth. L1 gets an uninterrupted view of the sun, and is currently occupied by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Deep Space Climate Observatory.

L2 also lies a million miles from Earth, but in the opposite direction of the sun. At this point, with the Earth, moon and sun behind it, a spacecraft can get a clear view of deep space. NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is currently at this spot measuring the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang. The James Webb Space Telescope will move into this region in 2018.

The third Lagrange point, L3, lies behind the sun, opposite Earth's orbit. For now, science has not found a use for this spot, although science fiction has.

“NASA is unlikely to find any use for the L3 point since it remains hidden behind the sun at all times,” NASA wrote on a web page about Lagrange points. “The idea of a hidden 'Planet-X' at the L3 point has been a popular topic in science fiction writing. The instability of Planet X's orbit (on a time scale of 150 years) didn't stop Hollywood from turning out classics like 'The Man from Planet X.'”

L1, L2 and L3 are all unstable points with precarious equilibrium. If a spacecraft at L3 drifted toward or away from Earth, it would fall irreversibly toward the sun or Earth, "like a barely balanced cart atop a steep hill," according to astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Spacecraft must make slight adjustments to maintain their orbits.
Points L4 and L5, however, are stable, "like a ball in a large bowl," according to the European Space Agency. These points lie along Earth's orbit at 60 degrees ahead of and behind Earth, forming the apex of two equilateral triangles that have the large masses (Earth and the sun, for example) as their vertices.

Because of the stability of these points, dust and asteroids tend to accumulate in these regions. Asteroids that surround the L4 and L5 points are called Trojans in honor of the asteroids Agamemnon, Achilles and Hector (all characters in the story of the siege of Troy) that are between Jupiter and the Sun. NASA states that there have been thousands of these types of asteroids found in our solar system, including Earth’s only known Trojan asteroid, 2010 TK7.

L4 and L5 are also possible points for a space colony due to their relative proximity to Earth, at least according to the writings of Gerard O'Neill and related thinkers. In the 1970s and 1980s, a group called the L5 Society promoted this idea among its members. In the late 1980s, it merged into a group that is now known as the National Space Society, an advocacy organization that promotes the idea of forming civilizations beyond Earth. ..."

MORE: http://www.space.com/30302-lagrange-points.html___

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