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Ralph Roberts

Ralph Roberts 

✔ Verified - Author (over 100 books), publisher, producer, profilic and entertaining poster on G+

Occupation: Author, publisher, producer (CopyRalph.com)

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Followers: 39,512

Following: 4,731

Views: 110,281,090

Added to CircleCount.com: 08/22/2011That's the date, where Ralph Roberts has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 9

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2016-04-13 13:05:17 (9 comments; 12 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if thelig... more »

Most reshares: 12

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2016-04-13 13:05:17 (9 comments; 12 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if thelig... more »

Most plusones: 30

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2016-04-13 13:05:17 (9 comments; 12 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if thelig... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2016-05-25 01:04:00 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s)Open 

test of raw audio, no editing of any kind.

test of raw audio, no editing of any kind.___

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2016-05-23 02:28:24 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

Hybrid ESTOLAS aircraft combines aspects of a plane, helicopter, hovercraft and airship ... "The hybrid ESTOLAS aircraft features a short, squat design with propeller engines mounted at the rear of a disc-shaped main body that houses a rotor like a helicopter's. The aircraft is composed almost entirely of lightweight composite materials and the body and can also be filled with helium to further reduce the aircraft's weight and provide additional lifting power. This would allow it to take off and land at lower speeds on short runways and, if no conventional runways are available, it can use its air-cushioned skirt and wheel-skis to take off and land on any natural surface, such as fields, marshes, water or snow.

The project team is examining four different ESTOLAS sizes, including small, medium, heavy and superheavy with maximum payloads ranging from under 3 tonnes (3.3 tons)... more »

Hybrid ESTOLAS aircraft combines aspects of a plane, helicopter, hovercraft and airship ... "The hybrid ESTOLAS aircraft features a short, squat design with propeller engines mounted at the rear of a disc-shaped main body that houses a rotor like a helicopter's. The aircraft is composed almost entirely of lightweight composite materials and the body and can also be filled with helium to further reduce the aircraft's weight and provide additional lifting power. This would allow it to take off and land at lower speeds on short runways and, if no conventional runways are available, it can use its air-cushioned skirt and wheel-skis to take off and land on any natural surface, such as fields, marshes, water or snow.

The project team is examining four different ESTOLAS sizes, including small, medium, heavy and superheavy with maximum payloads ranging from under 3 tonnes (3.3 tons) to over 400 tonnes (440 tons). Project Coordinator Alexander Gamaleyev of Riga Technical University in Latvia says the superheavy ESTOLAS model would be able to take off and land at distances of 175 m (574 ft), while the small version could do so within just 75 m (246 ft).

Load ratios would also be 1.5 to 2 times higher than conventional jet or propeller planes, with reduced fuel consumption giving the aircraft the ability to deliver cargo anywhere on Earth without refueling. Gamaleyev claims the hybrid aircraft's lower fuel consumption would put it on a par with rail transport in terms of cost, while the reduced CO2 emissions should make it the world's most ecologically efficient form of air transport.

In addition to disaster relief operations, the team envisages the ESTOLAS having a wide variety of applications, including defense, business, tourism and support for the building and operation of remote oil and gas fields. It also has the potential to offer cheaper and more efficient air transport between cities with existing runways and airfields and smaller towns lacking such facilities.

Now that the concept is complete, the team will move onto testing a demonstration model in a wind tube. This will be followed by radio-control flight tests before the 24-month project winds up in April of next year. The team will also examine a number of options to bring the concept to a commercial reality, including licensing the design, seeking venture capital, or establishing joint ventures with industry partners. ..."

MORE WITH VIDEO: http://www.gizmag.com/estolas-extremely-short-take-off-and-landing-all-surface-hybrid-aircraft/29790/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget___

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2016-05-22 02:03:10 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

Beautiful place in the Georgia mountains today.

Beautiful place in the Georgia mountains today.___

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2016-05-19 21:25:46 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

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2016-05-16 21:57:07 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 28 +1s)Open 

Happy Orbiting, ISS! ... "Today at 2:10 am ET, the International Space Station began its 100,000 tour around this blue-and-green globe we call home. Travels at a blazing 17,500 mph, ISS finished that historic achievement only 92 minutes later. In its 18-year lifespan, the station has traversed about 2,643,342,240 miles, more than 28 times the distance of the earth to the sun. ...

But the ISS still has some more miles to add to its space odometer. While the station won’t hit 200,000 orbits before its scheduled for decommission in 2024, it’ll still be trailblazing humanity’s exploration of space for at least another eight years. ..."

MORE: http://gizmodo.com/the-iss-just-completed-its-100-000th-orbit-1776877402

Happy Orbiting, ISS! ... "Today at 2:10 am ET, the International Space Station began its 100,000 tour around this blue-and-green globe we call home. Travels at a blazing 17,500 mph, ISS finished that historic achievement only 92 minutes later. In its 18-year lifespan, the station has traversed about 2,643,342,240 miles, more than 28 times the distance of the earth to the sun. ...

But the ISS still has some more miles to add to its space odometer. While the station won’t hit 200,000 orbits before its scheduled for decommission in 2024, it’ll still be trailblazing humanity’s exploration of space for at least another eight years. ..."

MORE: http://gizmodo.com/the-iss-just-completed-its-100-000th-orbit-1776877402___

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2016-05-16 21:56:38 (1 comments; 6 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

Happy Orbiting, ISS! ... "Today at 2:10 am ET, the International Space Station began its 100,000 tour around this blue-and-green globe we call home. Travels at a blazing 17,500 mph, ISS finished that historic achievement only 92 minutes later. In its 18-year lifespan, the station has traversed about 2,643,342,240 miles, more than 28 times the distance of the earth to the sun. ...

But the ISS still has some more miles to add to its space odometer. While the station won’t hit 200,000 orbits before its scheduled for decommission in 2024, it’ll still be trailblazing humanity’s exploration of space for at least another eight years. ..."

MORE: http://gizmodo.com/the-iss-just-completed-its-100-000th-orbit-1776877402

Happy Orbiting, ISS! ... "Today at 2:10 am ET, the International Space Station began its 100,000 tour around this blue-and-green globe we call home. Travels at a blazing 17,500 mph, ISS finished that historic achievement only 92 minutes later. In its 18-year lifespan, the station has traversed about 2,643,342,240 miles, more than 28 times the distance of the earth to the sun. ...

But the ISS still has some more miles to add to its space odometer. While the station won’t hit 200,000 orbits before its scheduled for decommission in 2024, it’ll still be trailblazing humanity’s exploration of space for at least another eight years. ..."

MORE: http://gizmodo.com/the-iss-just-completed-its-100-000th-orbit-1776877402___

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2016-05-16 21:33:43 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

Trajan’s Column: An Emperor’s War Diary Carved in Stone ... "In the beginning of the 2nd century, the Roman Emperor Trajan led two very successful war campaigns against the powerful Dacia kingdom by the river Danube in what is now Romania. The Dacians were a constant threat to the Roman Empire since the days of Caesar. Two decades earlier, after a savage pillaging of a Roman settlement and the humiliating defeat of Trajan’s predecessor, the Romans tried peace negotiation with the Dacians. When that failed the new Emperor Trajan led tens of thousands of Roman troops across the Danube River over a massive bridge that was constructed for the invasion, and defeated the barbaric empire on its home turf twice.

The victory over Dacia was the defining event of Trajan’s 19-year rule. The conquest brought back a staggering amount of loot in the form of gold that helped finance Rome’sfurther e... more »

Trajan’s Column: An Emperor’s War Diary Carved in Stone ... "In the beginning of the 2nd century, the Roman Emperor Trajan led two very successful war campaigns against the powerful Dacia kingdom by the river Danube in what is now Romania. The Dacians were a constant threat to the Roman Empire since the days of Caesar. Two decades earlier, after a savage pillaging of a Roman settlement and the humiliating defeat of Trajan’s predecessor, the Romans tried peace negotiation with the Dacians. When that failed the new Emperor Trajan led tens of thousands of Roman troops across the Danube River over a massive bridge that was constructed for the invasion, and defeated the barbaric empire on its home turf twice.

The victory over Dacia was the defining event of Trajan’s 19-year rule. The conquest brought back a staggering amount of loot in the form of gold that helped finance Rome’s further expansion campaign. By the time Trajan died, the Roman empire attained its maximum territorial extent in history.

To commemorate the victory, the Roman Senate erected a towering Trajan’s Column in Rome, depicting in stone carved bas-reliefs the Dacian Wars' most important moments. The bas-reliefs are strung together in a 200-meter-long band that spirals from the bottom of the Column to the top forming a continuous narrative of the emperor’s two campaigns in Dacia. The Column was originally crowned by a bronze statue of Trajan himself, but was replaced by a statue of St. Peter in 1588. The Column stood at the center of a spacious plaza known as Trajan’s Forum surrounded by galleries from which one could view at various levels the spiral band. The Forum and the Column were completed in 113 AD.
The continuous spiraling frieze winds twenty-three times from the base to the capital, and contains over 2,500 figures in 155 scenes, with Trajan himself appearing nearly sixty times in various roles such as leading the army, judging prisoners, and holding councils of war.

Surprisingly, there are very few scenes of actual battle. Instead, there are large number of scenes showing construction and ceremonies conducted by the soldiers, and figures of forts, ships, weapons, soldiers, etc. Depiction of violence against the enemy is also rare, but there is a bizarre scene showing Dacian women torturing Roman men.

“Some scholars suggest the lack of battle scenes and large number of building scenes is a propaganda constructed specifically for the urban population of Rome (the primary audience), addressing their fear and distrust of the army by depicting its warfare as one with little collateral damage,” reads the Wikipedia article on the Column.

Some of the key scenes portrayed in the narrative include the first crossing of the Danube by the Roman legion, Trajan's voyage up the Danube, the surrender of the Dacians at the close of the first war, the great sacrifice by the Danube bridge during the second war, the assault on the Dacian capital and the death of the Dacian king Decebalus. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/05/trajans-column-emperors-war-diary.html___

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2016-05-16 21:29:56 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

The Forgotten Era of Moonlight Towers ... "Back in the early 19th century, the invention of the dynamo brought promises of an exciting new world ahead, but the most urgent need of the day, or rather the night, was lighting. Edison's revolutionary incandescent light bulbs had not been invented yet, but Sir Humphry Davy, who can be considered the true founder of electric lighting, had demonstrated at the very beginning of the century a method to produce light by bringing two metal electrodes very close together to produce a sustained spark. Known as arc lamps, these became the first practical electric lights.

A carbon arc lamp consist of two carbon rod electrodes in free air, and connected to a source of electric current. The electric arc is struck by touching the rods together and then slowly drawing them apart to create an arc across the gap. The heat vaporizes the tips of the... more »

The Forgotten Era of Moonlight Towers ... "Back in the early 19th century, the invention of the dynamo brought promises of an exciting new world ahead, but the most urgent need of the day, or rather the night, was lighting. Edison's revolutionary incandescent light bulbs had not been invented yet, but Sir Humphry Davy, who can be considered the true founder of electric lighting, had demonstrated at the very beginning of the century a method to produce light by bringing two metal electrodes very close together to produce a sustained spark. Known as arc lamps, these became the first practical electric lights.

A carbon arc lamp consist of two carbon rod electrodes in free air, and connected to a source of electric current. The electric arc is struck by touching the rods together and then slowly drawing them apart to create an arc across the gap. The heat vaporizes the tips of the carbon rods and the highly luminous carbon vapor produces an intense bright light.

Although the invention of the arc lamp was a spectacular feat, it became obvious that their use would be limited. The light produced by the arc lamp was too intense to be endured at close range, making them unsuitable for indoor use. Even when installed outdoors at the height of typical street lights, these lamps required shielding to reduce the glare which meant that much of their light was wasted. The city of San Jose, California, tried to solve the problem in 1881 by putting arc lights atop a 237-foot tall tower. A total of 6 arc lights were installed boasting a total light output of 24,000 candlepower.

Inspired by San Jose, many American and European cities began putting up lighting towers. These came to be known as Moonlight Towers because the way it mimicked the shining moon. A single tower illuminated several blocks at once, and there was enough light to read one’s pocket watch a quarter of a mile away.

One of the main disadvantages of Moonlight Towers was they needed to be serviced throughout the night. Early arc lamps lasted just an hour or two because the carbon rods would be exhaust by then requiring them to be frequently replaced (later models could last through the night). The heights of the towers posed additional climbing challenge. Because of the cost and labor intensive operation, arc lamps didn’t completely phase out existing oil lamp and gas flame street lights. In most American cities, the lighting towers only complemented gas and oil lamps. Detroit was the only large city in the US lighted wholly and exclusively by the tower system.

Detroit erected a total of 122 towers, with a height of 100 to 180 feet, lighting 21 square miles of the city. It was the best-lighted city in the world. The lighting infrastructure in Detroit was regarded as the future of street lighting, and stood as an example for the rest of the US. By 1884 there were already more than 90,000 arc lamps lighting American cities, and that number rose to 235,000 in 1890. The numbers doubled in another ten years and tripled in five more years.
Arc lamps were in use until around 1920s. By then Edison had substantially improved incandescent lamps that used filaments.

These lamps had longer lives and could be produced in smaller powers allowing them to be used inside buildings and small rooms. Eventually, incandescent lamps and later halogen lamps replaced arc lamps.

Most lighting towers were demolished during the first two decades of the 20th century. Some collapsed during storms and tornados. The only ones that remain today are in Austin, Texas, and they are still working, albeit not by means of arc lights. The city originally purchased 31 moonlight towers from Detroit. 17 still survive.

While lighting towers became extinct, arc lights found use in new applications such as cinema projection, spotlights and searchlights. Even in these applications conventional carbon arc lamps are being pushed into obsolescence by xenon arc lamps, but were still being manufactured as spotlights at least as late as 1982. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/04/the-forgotten-era-of-moonlight-towers.html___

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2016-05-15 15:08:17 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 23 +1s)Open 

Murud-Janjira Fort, India ... "The Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rocky island in the Arabian Sea, near the coastal town of Murud, 165 km south of Mumbai, India. Once the stronghold of the Abyssinian Siddis, who played an important role in the history of Mumbai, later in the 17th century, Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India, and the only unconquered one along India’s western coast. The fort was famous for its three gigantic cannons, weighing over 22 tons each, that were feared for their incredible shooting range.

The word Janjira is a corruption of the Arabic word “Jazeera”, which means an island. Murud is a Marathi word for the Siddis, an ethnic group originating from Abyssinia, a historical nation in modern day Ethiopia. So Murud-Janjira essentially means “island of the Siddis”

The fort was originally built not bythe Siddi... more »

Murud-Janjira Fort, India ... "The Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rocky island in the Arabian Sea, near the coastal town of Murud, 165 km south of Mumbai, India. Once the stronghold of the Abyssinian Siddis, who played an important role in the history of Mumbai, later in the 17th century, Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India, and the only unconquered one along India’s western coast. The fort was famous for its three gigantic cannons, weighing over 22 tons each, that were feared for their incredible shooting range.

The word Janjira is a corruption of the Arabic word “Jazeera”, which means an island. Murud is a Marathi word for the Siddis, an ethnic group originating from Abyssinia, a historical nation in modern day Ethiopia. So Murud-Janjira essentially means “island of the Siddis”

The fort was originally built not by the Siddis, but by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain, Rajaram Patil, in the 15th century, albeit on a smaller scale. At that time the fort was known as "Medhekot” and was built to protect his people from pirates and thieves. It was captured by a general of Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar, and later strengthened by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian-origin Siddi regent of Ahmednagar kings. From then onward, the Siddis became independent and exceptionally powerful as autonomous state, and the fort continued to be occupied by them.

Throughout history, numerous attempts were made by the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas to subdue the power of the Siddis, but failed. Even the great Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji tried unsuccessfully to scale the fort’s 40-feet high granite walls. 
Although in ruins now, Murud-Janjira was a full-fledged living fort in its heydays with all necessary facilities such as palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, fresh water tanks, etc. The outer walls and all the rounded bastions of the fort are still intact. ..."

more photos: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/04/murud-janjira-fort-india.html___

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2016-05-15 15:07:27 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Murud-Janjira Fort, India ... "The Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rocky island in the Arabian Sea, near the coastal town of Murud, 165 km south of Mumbai, India. Once the stronghold of the Abyssinian Siddis, who played an important role in the history of Mumbai, later in the 17th century, Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India, and the only unconquered one along India’s western coast. The fort was famous for its three gigantic cannons, weighing over 22 tons each, that were feared for their incredible shooting range.

The word Janjira is a corruption of the Arabic word “Jazeera”, which means an island. Murud is a Marathi word for the Siddis, an ethnic group originating from Abyssinia, a historical nation in modern day Ethiopia. So Murud-Janjira essentially means “island of the Siddis”

The fort was originally built not bythe Siddi... more »

Murud-Janjira Fort, India ... "The Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rocky island in the Arabian Sea, near the coastal town of Murud, 165 km south of Mumbai, India. Once the stronghold of the Abyssinian Siddis, who played an important role in the history of Mumbai, later in the 17th century, Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India, and the only unconquered one along India’s western coast. The fort was famous for its three gigantic cannons, weighing over 22 tons each, that were feared for their incredible shooting range.

The word Janjira is a corruption of the Arabic word “Jazeera”, which means an island. Murud is a Marathi word for the Siddis, an ethnic group originating from Abyssinia, a historical nation in modern day Ethiopia. So Murud-Janjira essentially means “island of the Siddis”

The fort was originally built not by the Siddis, but by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain, Rajaram Patil, in the 15th century, albeit on a smaller scale. At that time the fort was known as "Medhekot” and was built to protect his people from pirates and thieves. It was captured by a general of Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar, and later strengthened by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian-origin Siddi regent of Ahmednagar kings. From then onward, the Siddis became independent and exceptionally powerful as autonomous state, and the fort continued to be occupied by them.

Throughout history, numerous attempts were made by the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas to subdue the power of the Siddis, but failed. Even the great Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji tried unsuccessfully to scale the fort’s 40-feet high granite walls. 
Although in ruins now, Murud-Janjira was a full-fledged living fort in its heydays with all necessary facilities such as palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, fresh water tanks, etc. The outer walls and all the rounded bastions of the fort are still intact. ..."

more photos: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/04/murud-janjira-fort-india.html___

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2016-05-15 14:59:58 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Corlea Trackway: A 2,000-Year-Old Wooden Road in Ireland ... "Long ago, a large part of north-western Europe, particularly Ireland and Great Britain, were covered in bogs. These soggy wetlands, composed of partially decomposed remains of dead plants, formed at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. At this time, much of north-western Europe was covered by shallow lakes left behind by the melting glaciers. Poor drainage and build up of dead plants created layer upon layer of peat. Researchers estimate that nearly one-fifth of Ireland was covered by bogs.

In order to cross these marshy lands, the ancient people built raised wooden roads or trackways. These wooden trackways, unique to Europe, were built from the Neolithic times until the middle ages. Originally they were used for foot traffic, but once wheeled carts were invented and introduced into the north of Europe they... more »

Corlea Trackway: A 2,000-Year-Old Wooden Road in Ireland ... "Long ago, a large part of north-western Europe, particularly Ireland and Great Britain, were covered in bogs. These soggy wetlands, composed of partially decomposed remains of dead plants, formed at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. At this time, much of north-western Europe was covered by shallow lakes left behind by the melting glaciers. Poor drainage and build up of dead plants created layer upon layer of peat. Researchers estimate that nearly one-fifth of Ireland was covered by bogs.

In order to cross these marshy lands, the ancient people built raised wooden roads or trackways. These wooden trackways, unique to Europe, were built from the Neolithic times until the middle ages. Originally they were used for foot traffic, but once wheeled carts were invented and introduced into the north of Europe they became a necessity. Eventually, the trackways deteriorated and fell into the bogs, where the unique chemical structure of the bog soil and the lack of oxygen preserved these ancient structures to this date.

One of the best preserved examples of wooden trackways is the Corlea Trackway that lie across an ancient bog near the village of Keenagh, south of Longford town, in Ireland. The trackway is a kilometer long and wide enough to fit a cart.

The Corlea Trackway is located in an area where large-scale mechanised peat harvesting is carried out to supply raw materials for the peat-fired power stations. While the area today is a flat brownish wasteland, in the Iron Age it was covered by bog, quicksand, and ponds. This was surround by dense woodlands of birch, willow, hazel and alder while higher ground was covered by oak and ash. The terrain was dangerous and impassible for much of the year.

In 1984, while digging for peat, the trackway was discovered about two meters under the surface of the bog. Tree ring analysis of the oak planks used to construct the trackway revealed the trees were felled in late 148 B.C. or early 147 B.C. Further excavation revealed more than a hundred trackways in the area and an additional seventy-six trackways were discovered in the nearby Derryoghil bog.

The majority of these trackways, also called toghers in Ireland, are constructed from woven hurdles laid on heaped brushwood on top of the surface. The Corlea Trackway is made from oak planks 3 to 3.5 meters long and around 15 centimeters thick, laid on rails. To construct this kilometer-long walkway, the wood of at least 300 large oak trees must have been felled. This would amount to a thousand wagons loaded with oak. Around the same amount of birch wood was used for the rails beneath.

The Corlea Trackway ended on a small elevated land, from which a second trackway, again around 1 kilometer long, connected to dry land on the far side of the bog. Wood used to build the second trackway came from oaks that were cut down in the same period as that for the Corlea Trackway, so there is good reason to believe that the entire road system was completed in one year. The construction of the roadway must have required a great deal of labour, which is odd because the Corlea Trackway seems to have no useful purpose that justifies the immense undertaking.

Not all trackways were built to cross bogs. Some were also designed to get into the bogs, and the Corlea Trackway might have been one of them. Over the centuries, archeologists and peat harvesters have pulled out hundreds of bodies from peats across Europe. These bodies bear signs of violent death that suggest they were either victims of ritual sacrifice or prisoners executed for their crimes. Read more about these bog bodies.

About 18 meters of the original Corlea Trackway is now preserved in a specially designed hall with humidifiers to prevent the ancient wood from decomposing or cracking in the heat. A surrounding area of 4 hectares of intact raised bog with the trackway was left undisturbed in waterlogged conditions. About 80 meters of buried trackway, leading to the visitor center was boarded over with modern boardwalk. ..."

more: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/05/corlea-trackway-2000-year-old-wooden.html___

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2016-05-15 14:52:30 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

The Merci Train: 49 Boxcars Filled With Gratitude ... "On February 3, 1949, a crowd of over 25,000 gathered at New York Harbor to see the arrival of a merchant ship named Magellan. On the side of the French freighter was painted the words "MERCI AMERICA". Aboard was forty-nine French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts donated by French citizens. This was the Merci Train, a token of appreciation to the people of the US from the people of France, for the 700 boxcars of food and relief materials that Americans had sent to war-torn Europe in 1947.

The 700-car Friendship Train sent by the Americans was the brainchild of Drew Pearson, an American newspaper columnist and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Pearson was in Europe when he noticed that the Russians were being lauded and 'thanked' for their contributions of a few carloads of grain delivered... more »

The Merci Train: 49 Boxcars Filled With Gratitude ... "On February 3, 1949, a crowd of over 25,000 gathered at New York Harbor to see the arrival of a merchant ship named Magellan. On the side of the French freighter was painted the words "MERCI AMERICA". Aboard was forty-nine French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts donated by French citizens. This was the Merci Train, a token of appreciation to the people of the US from the people of France, for the 700 boxcars of food and relief materials that Americans had sent to war-torn Europe in 1947.

The 700-car Friendship Train sent by the Americans was the brainchild of Drew Pearson, an American newspaper columnist and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Pearson was in Europe when he noticed that the Russians were being lauded and 'thanked' for their contributions of a few carloads of grain delivered to Europeans. Being a staunch anti-communist, the great fanfare celebrating these meager gifts rankled Pearson. He believed that the United States could surpass the communists in sending food to the desperate, hungry Europeans.

At his initiative, a country-wide effort was launched starting from Los Angles. A train with a dozen boxcars filled with macaroni, sugar, flour and other food supplies left Los Angles on an eleven-day journey across eleven states stopping at more than thirty cities and towns along the way. Newspapers, radios, and local organizations including schools and churches helped spread the concept of Pearson's Friendship Train and urged Americans to donate food and supplies. The response was overwhelming. Food, clothing, fuel and other supplies began to pour in from all states.

When all trains originating from different parts of the country converged in New York, more than 700 boxcars loaded with $40 million worth in relief supplies had been collected. Once in New York, the supplies were unloaded and shipped off to France to be distributed directly to individuals throughout the country.

The following year, Andre Picard, a French railroad worker and war veteran suggested that France reciprocate by sending a gratitude train filled with gifts and mementos from his countrymen. Much of 1948 was spent collecting gifts from individual citizens. They ranged from art, wine, needlework, local specialties, furniture, books, homemade toys and children’s drawings, including a jeweled Legion of Honor medal that reportedly belonged to Napoleon. All in all, over 52,000 gifts were collected. These were crammed into 49 railroad cars, meant to be divided amongst the 48 American states with the remaining car to be shared by Washington D.C and Hawaii. Each boxcar was decorated with a painted 'Gratitude Train' ribbon and with 40 coat-of-arms representing the provinces of France.

The boxcars were the same infamous ones used to transport American troops fighting in Europe during World War I and World War II. Each was about 20.5 feet long and 8.5 feet wide, and could hold forty men or eight horses. Hence the boxcars were also called “forty and eight”. There were no seats, no windows, no toilets, and no sleeping or dining accommodations. Each man had barely enough space to sit down and they had to fit their bodies in rows to have enough room to lie down for sleep. The journeys were up to a week long.

Once the French boxcars arrived in New York, they were loaded onto flatcars and sent off to far corners of the country. The nation's railroads charged no fees for their distribution and the Congress waived off duties. Each state had a reception waiting for their boxcar. The largest and most attended was in New York City where more than 200,000 people turned out to welcome that state's assigned box car. Several states sent their boxcars on tours of the state so everyone could see the car and its contents. The gifts were distributed to museums, hospitals, schools, churches, and other institutions. Some of these could still be seen at museums. Some were sold at auction, with the proceeds going to charity.

Out of the 49 boxcars, 43 survive to this day. They are exhibited in various municipal parks, railroad museums, fairgrounds and Veterans Posts across the country. ..."

more photos and info: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/05/the-merci-train-49-boxcars-filled-with.html___

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2016-05-15 14:06:20 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

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2016-05-11 15:10:58 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

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2016-05-06 11:53:49 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

The Top Ten Largest Dump Trucks In The World ... wanna put a camper on one of these bad boys?

The Top Ten Largest Dump Trucks In The World ... wanna put a camper on one of these bad boys?___

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2016-04-24 18:51:51 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

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2016-04-18 19:20:38 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

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2016-04-18 14:20:45 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

Radio Ham heard Titanic’s call for Help ... from South Wales Argus via http://QRZnews.com by Martin Wade -- "ARTIE Moore was born in 1887, Victoria was still on the throne and he lived in a 17th century water mill. But his fascination for the very modern technology of wireless communication meant that on the night of April 15 1912 when a disaster happened which would be known across the world, it would change his life forever.

As a child, Artie had an accident at the mill badly injuring his leg, which had to be amputated. Perhaps spurred by this setback he developed a fascination for engineering, which saw him make a device so he could still pedal his bicycle while wearing a wooden leg.

The water mill at Gelli Groes was the perfect workshop for the youngster. He used a lathe driven by the water-wheel to build a working model steam engine. Having entered a competition inThe... more »

Radio Ham heard Titanic’s call for Help ... from South Wales Argus via http://QRZnews.com by Martin Wade -- "ARTIE Moore was born in 1887, Victoria was still on the throne and he lived in a 17th century water mill. But his fascination for the very modern technology of wireless communication meant that on the night of April 15 1912 when a disaster happened which would be known across the world, it would change his life forever.

As a child, Artie had an accident at the mill badly injuring his leg, which had to be amputated. Perhaps spurred by this setback he developed a fascination for engineering, which saw him make a device so he could still pedal his bicycle while wearing a wooden leg.

The water mill at Gelli Groes was the perfect workshop for the youngster. He used a lathe driven by the water-wheel to build a working model steam engine. Having entered a competition in The Model Engineer magazine, his prize was a book called ‘Modern Views of Magnetism and Electricity’. It was to be the spark which would ignite his interest in radio. ...

Artie used his engineering skills to store electricity in his batteries using a generator hooked up to the water wheel. He would also charge batteries for local businesses and farmers, who must have come and gazed in wonder at the sparks generated by his radio transmitter.

The thin strand of copper strung across the Sirhowy, near Ty Llwyd farm, would be the magical thread connecting the talented man to the world in a way that was unthinkable to most people then.

He soon became known beyond the Gwent valley when the Daily Sketch featured him on their front page after he intercepted the Italian government's declaration of war on Libya in 1911.

A bigger story was looming in which Artie would play a part.
The RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat when it entered service. Graceful, palatial and vast, she carried 2,224 passengers and crew – some in luxury, but all in comfort. The White Star Line ship was on her maiden voyage, and having left her final port of call, Queenstown in Southern Ireland, steamed out into the Atlantic bound for New York.

The Titanic's radio equipment was manned 24-hours a day sending and receiving passenger telegrams, handling navigation messages including weather reports and ice warnings.
A sound-proofed radio room on the boat deck was manned by two operators and had an aerial strung from its roof along the length of the ship. This strand of wire would send its faint signals which Artie Moore’s spindly cable could pick up thousands of miles away.
Just after midnight on April 15 1912, while steaming in the North Atlantic the Titanic collided with an iceberg 375 miles south of the coast of Newfoundland. As millions of tons of water poured through a massive gash in the ship’s hull, the two radio men frantically sent out their signals.

Meanwhile, in the early morning at Gelli Groes mill, Artie was at his desk, listening. He heard a faint signal in Morse code: "CQD Titanic 41.44N 50.24W." The cryptic ‘CQD’ meant simply ‘Come Quickly Distress". The numbers gave the ship’s position.

It was quickly followed by a further call. Radio was in its infancy and terms familiar to us were new then. The operators, more desperate now used the new SOS signal: "CQD CQD SOS de MGY Position 41.44N 50.24W. Require immediate assistance. Come at once. We have struck an iceberg. Sinking." ‘MGY’ was the radio call-sign for the Titanic.

Moore frantically wrote down the messages, but still they carried on.

"We are putting the passengers off in small boats" said another. "Women and children in boats, cannot last much longer - Come as quickly as possible; our engine-room is filling up to the boilers."
Then, finally: "SOS SOS CQD CQD Titanic. We are sinking fast. Passengers are being put into boats. Titanic."

Moore continued to copy the desperate messages until the Titanic went silent about two hours after the first distress call.

As the signals faded, he ran to the police station to tell them. But the police and everyone else he told didn’t believe him. And who could blame them? He was the one-legged boffin who tinkered with his mysterious contraptions and strung wires across the valley. But they were soon proved wrong. As newspaper reports appeared, they read of the 1,500 people who drowned in the icy Atlantic. They found out too that, just as Artie had claimed, the Titanic had been using the new SOS distress signal.

The skill Artie showed that night was eventually rewarded. As proof came of his fantastic story, a local resident wrote to radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, who had worked in South Wales, telling him of Moore’s achievement. Marconi came to meet him and offered him a job with his fledgling wireless company.
Two years later, as war broke out, Artie’s talents were even more in demand. He was employed as a technician for the Royal Navy. He supervised the fitting of equipment similar to that which he used on that fateful night on naval battleships. As HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible then steamed 8,000 miles south to the Falkland Islands in 1914 to meet a German naval force off the Falkland Islands, they could easily communicate with home and eachother.
Still working with the Marconi Company he did research in developing the radio valve without which vital advances in wireless technology would not have happened.

After the war he kept working in the field. In 1922 he fitted the first fishing boat to be equipped with wireless equipment and in 1932, he patented the Echo-meter - an early form of sonar.

He retired in 1947, but with failing health, he moved to Jamaica to recuperate. But after only six months, he returned to Britain and died at a convalescent home in Bristol. The end of his days mirrored his most famous moment. As those fateful messages crossed the Atlantic, so did he in the final months of his life.

full article: http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/14428359.THE_LONG_VIEW__The_Blackwood_man_who_heard_the_Titanic___s_call_for_help/___

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2016-04-13 13:05:55 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 22 +1s)Open 

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if thelig... more »

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if the light is bright enough, and the mirror light enough, the mirror will start moving.

...

The propulsion system Mr Milner sees as the final goal would consist of perhaps 10m lasers, each delivering 10 kilowatts or so, spread over a square kilometre of otherwise empty desert. For a launch their output would be combined into a single 100GW beam focused on a sail just a few metres across up in space. If that sail and its starchip were to have a mass of just five grams, then after ten minutes of the array’s 670-newton attention the probe would be a third of the way to the orbit of Mars and travelling at a quarter of the speed of light—fast enough to get to the nearest stars in less than 20 years. At its destination it would beam back pictures of the star’s planets with its on-board laser. No current observatory could possibly pick up such a signal—but the kilometre-wide launch array should be able to. The optical systems used to meld the output of the lasers could be used in reverse as a vast and sensitive telescope. ..."

full article: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21696876-interstellar-travel-means-thinking-both-very-big-and-very-small-new-plan___

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2016-04-13 13:05:17 (9 comments; 12 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if thelig... more »

A new plan to send spacecraft to the stars: replace rockets with lasers ... Interstellar travel means thinking both very big and very small ... "PACEX and Blue Origin, two American space companies, can now return their rockets to Earth and reuse them, which promises to reduce the cost of launches. But what if, instead of bringing a spacecraft’s boosters back to Earth, you could build a booster that never leaves it? Your propulsion system could be arbitrarily large and powerful, since you wouldn’t have to lift it; your spacecraft, no longer needing engines or fuel, could be stripped down to its barest essentials.

Such a split sounds impractical, but beams of light could make it work. One of the counterintuitive implications of the theory of relativity is that, although light has no mass, it still has momentum. Thus when light bounces off a mirror it exerts a tiny pressure; if the light is bright enough, and the mirror light enough, the mirror will start moving.

...

The propulsion system Mr Milner sees as the final goal would consist of perhaps 10m lasers, each delivering 10 kilowatts or so, spread over a square kilometre of otherwise empty desert. For a launch their output would be combined into a single 100GW beam focused on a sail just a few metres across up in space. If that sail and its starchip were to have a mass of just five grams, then after ten minutes of the array’s 670-newton attention the probe would be a third of the way to the orbit of Mars and travelling at a quarter of the speed of light—fast enough to get to the nearest stars in less than 20 years. At its destination it would beam back pictures of the star’s planets with its on-board laser. No current observatory could possibly pick up such a signal—but the kilometre-wide launch array should be able to. The optical systems used to meld the output of the lasers could be used in reverse as a vast and sensitive telescope. ..."

full article: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21696876-interstellar-travel-means-thinking-both-very-big-and-very-small-new-plan___

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2016-04-09 05:43:09 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

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2016-04-08 12:45:12 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

Giant presidential statues crumble in abandoned wasteland
... Photographer David Ogden traveled to Virginia to capture the abandoned statues that used to sit in President Park until the park closed in 2010. The impressive statues, sculpted by Houston-based artist David Adickes, were placed in the park back in 2004. ... more photos: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/giant-presidential-statues-crumble-abandoned-wasteland-gallery-1.2535082

Giant presidential statues crumble in abandoned wasteland
... Photographer David Ogden traveled to Virginia to capture the abandoned statues that used to sit in President Park until the park closed in 2010. The impressive statues, sculpted by Houston-based artist David Adickes, were placed in the park back in 2004. ... more photos: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/giant-presidential-statues-crumble-abandoned-wasteland-gallery-1.2535082___

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2016-04-02 15:08:29 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 13 +1s)Open 

 *May 18, 1953 – At Rogers Dry Lake, California, in her Canadair Sabre, American Jackie Cochran became the first female pilot to break the sound barrier.* ... "... Postwar, Cochran began flying the new jet aircraft, going on to set numerous records; most conspicuously, she became the first woman pilot to "go supersonic".

Encouraged by then-Major Chuck Yeager, with whom Cochran shared a lifelong friendship, on May 18, 1953, at Rogers Dry Lake, California, Cochran flew a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force at an average speed of 652.337 mph, becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier.

Cochran was also the first woman to land and take off from an aircraft carrier, the first woman to reach Mach 2 in a Northrop T-38 Talon, the first woman to pilot a bomber across the North Atlantic (in 1941) and later to fly a jet aircraft on atra... more »

 *May 18, 1953 – At Rogers Dry Lake, California, in her Canadair Sabre, American Jackie Cochran became the first female pilot to break the sound barrier.* ... "... Postwar, Cochran began flying the new jet aircraft, going on to set numerous records; most conspicuously, she became the first woman pilot to "go supersonic".

Encouraged by then-Major Chuck Yeager, with whom Cochran shared a lifelong friendship, on May 18, 1953, at Rogers Dry Lake, California, Cochran flew a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force at an average speed of 652.337 mph, becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier.

Cochran was also the first woman to land and take off from an aircraft carrier, the first woman to reach Mach 2 in a Northrop T-38 Talon, the first woman to pilot a bomber across the North Atlantic (in 1941) and later to fly a jet aircraft on a transatlantic flight, the first pilot to make a blind (instrument) landing, the only woman ever to be president of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (1958–1961), the first woman to fly a fixed-wing, jet aircraft across the Atlantic, the first pilot to fly above 20,000 ft with an oxygen mask, and the first woman to enter the Bendix Transcontinental Race. She still holds more distance and speed records than any pilot living or dead, male or female. ... more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacqueline_Cochran___

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2016-04-02 15:05:50 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

c. 1858: Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars ... "Napoléon Bonaparte's final defeat was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Even after his death in 1821, the surviving soldiers of Grande Armée revered his historic leadership. Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon's death, the veterans marched to Paris' Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.

These photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.

These are the only surviving images of veterans of the Grande Armée and the Guard actually wearing their original uniforms and insignia. ..." ... http://mashable.com/2014/10/27/napoleonic-wars-veterans/

c. 1858: Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars ... "Napoléon Bonaparte's final defeat was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Even after his death in 1821, the surviving soldiers of Grande Armée revered his historic leadership. Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon's death, the veterans marched to Paris' Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.

These photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.

These are the only surviving images of veterans of the Grande Armée and the Guard actually wearing their original uniforms and insignia. ..." ... http://mashable.com/2014/10/27/napoleonic-wars-veterans/___

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2016-04-02 15:05:39 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

The Wave Swept Lighthouses of Brittany, France ... "The province of Brittany, in North-western part of France, forms a large peninsula that stretches towards the Atlantic Ocean bordered by the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. The waters located between the western coast and Ushant island form the Iroise Sea. This section of the coastline of Brittany remains one of the most dangerous seas in Europe with frequent violent storms, huge waves and strong currents. Over thirty ships were lost in this region between 1888 and 1904. Because of this, the rugged coastline is crowded with lighthouses - more than one third of all the lighthouses and fire towers illuminating the French coast are located here. These granite fortresses have been warning distant sailors of the dangers of this jagged coastline and treacherous rocks since the 18th century. ..." ...... more »

The Wave Swept Lighthouses of Brittany, France ... "The province of Brittany, in North-western part of France, forms a large peninsula that stretches towards the Atlantic Ocean bordered by the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. The waters located between the western coast and Ushant island form the Iroise Sea. This section of the coastline of Brittany remains one of the most dangerous seas in Europe with frequent violent storms, huge waves and strong currents. Over thirty ships were lost in this region between 1888 and 1904. Because of this, the rugged coastline is crowded with lighthouses - more than one third of all the lighthouses and fire towers illuminating the French coast are located here. These granite fortresses have been warning distant sailors of the dangers of this jagged coastline and treacherous rocks since the 18th century. ..." ... http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/11/the-wave-swept-lighthouses-of-brittany.html___

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2016-04-02 15:05:22 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

The Tiny Fishing Community on Migingo Island ... "Migingo is a tiny rock island, less than half-an-acre or about half the size of a football field, located in Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the largest tropical lake in the world. Although tiny in size, the island is home to 131 people (according to 2009 census) living in crammed huts made of corrugated sheets and wood. Despite shabby living conditions, Migingo Island boasts of five bars, a beauty salon, a pharmacy as well as several hotels and numerous brothels.
Most of island’s inhabitants are fishermen and fish traders. The first to arrive were two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe, who claimed to have settled there in 1991. At that time, the island was covered with weeds and infested with birds and snakes. They were later joined by 60 members of their fishing group who followed after receiving informationt... more »

The Tiny Fishing Community on Migingo Island ... "Migingo is a tiny rock island, less than half-an-acre or about half the size of a football field, located in Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the largest tropical lake in the world. Although tiny in size, the island is home to 131 people (according to 2009 census) living in crammed huts made of corrugated sheets and wood. Despite shabby living conditions, Migingo Island boasts of five bars, a beauty salon, a pharmacy as well as several hotels and numerous brothels.
Most of island’s inhabitants are fishermen and fish traders. The first to arrive were two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe, who claimed to have settled there in 1991. At that time, the island was covered with weeds and infested with birds and snakes. They were later joined by 60 members of their fishing group who followed after receiving information that the area was rich with Nile Perch. Subsequently, other fishermen from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania came to the island turning it into a thriving commercial center. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/01/the-tiny-fishing-community-on-migingo.html___

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2016-04-02 15:05:12 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

Meoto Iwa, the Wedded Rocks ... Amusing Planet -- "Meoto Iwa, also called the “husband and wife rocks” or “wedded rocks”, are a pair of small rocky stacks in the sea right in front of the Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine in Futami Bay, Japan. According to Shinto beliefs, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami – the spirits, and therefore, celebrate the union in marriage of man and woman.

The larger rock, named Izanagi, is the husband and stands 9 meters tall with a girth of about 40 meters. Izanagi has a small Shinto torii gate on its peak. To his right is the 3.6 meter high “wife”, Izanami, which is about 9 meters round. Being married, they are joined by the distinctive sacred ropes particular to Shinto shrines and holy places, made of braided rice stalks called Shimenawa. The ropes biding the two rocks weigh almost a ton, and are replaced in a special ceremonyheld three ti... more »

Meoto Iwa, the Wedded Rocks ... Amusing Planet -- "Meoto Iwa, also called the “husband and wife rocks” or “wedded rocks”, are a pair of small rocky stacks in the sea right in front of the Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine in Futami Bay, Japan. According to Shinto beliefs, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami – the spirits, and therefore, celebrate the union in marriage of man and woman.

The larger rock, named Izanagi, is the husband and stands 9 meters tall with a girth of about 40 meters. Izanagi has a small Shinto torii gate on its peak. To his right is the 3.6 meter high “wife”, Izanami, which is about 9 meters round. Being married, they are joined by the distinctive sacred ropes particular to Shinto shrines and holy places, made of braided rice stalks called Shimenawa. The ropes biding the two rocks weigh almost a ton, and are replaced in a special ceremony held three times a year, in May ..."

more: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/02/meoto-iwa-wedded-rocks.html___

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2016-04-02 15:04:56 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 14 +1s)Open 

Mocona Falls: A 3 km Waterfall That Runs Parallel to The River ... "Iguazu Falls may be the most popular waterfalls in Argentina, but Mocona Falls take the crown for the most unique. Mocona does not follow the normal downward and forward trajectory that most waterfalls do. Instead, it runs along the length of the river with water spilling off the side into a gorge. At 3 km long, it is perhaps the only waterfalls in the world to run parallel to the river rather than perpendicular.

Mocona Falls, also known as Yucumã Falls, is located in the Uruguay river, in the province of Misiones, in Argentina, 337 kilometers from the city of Posadas and 322 kilometers from Iguazu Falls. Since the Uruguay river acts as a natural border between Argentina and Brazil, this unique geological feature is shared by both countries. The name Moconá means “to swallow everything” in the Guarani languageand i... more »

Mocona Falls: A 3 km Waterfall That Runs Parallel to The River ... "Iguazu Falls may be the most popular waterfalls in Argentina, but Mocona Falls take the crown for the most unique. Mocona does not follow the normal downward and forward trajectory that most waterfalls do. Instead, it runs along the length of the river with water spilling off the side into a gorge. At 3 km long, it is perhaps the only waterfalls in the world to run parallel to the river rather than perpendicular.

Mocona Falls, also known as Yucumã Falls, is located in the Uruguay river, in the province of Misiones, in Argentina, 337 kilometers from the city of Posadas and 322 kilometers from Iguazu Falls. Since the Uruguay river acts as a natural border between Argentina and Brazil, this unique geological feature is shared by both countries. The name Moconá means “to swallow everything” in the Guarani language and is used mostly in Argentina. Yucumã means “the big fall” and is popular in Brazil. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/09/mocona-falls-3-km-waterfall-that-runs.html___

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2016-04-02 14:59:56 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 19 +1s)Open 

The Most Valuable Man on the Seas ... "With roughly 100,000 large merchant ships in the water at any time, scores sink, burn, break apart, run aground, or explode each year—often with toxic consequences. It is Captain Nick Sloane's job to board troubled vessels and salvage what he can. Against heavy odds, he recently refloated the doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia. William Langewiesche explains why Sloane may be the most valuable man on the seas ..."

read article: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2014/12/nick-sloane-costa-concordia-salvage

The Most Valuable Man on the Seas ... "With roughly 100,000 large merchant ships in the water at any time, scores sink, burn, break apart, run aground, or explode each year—often with toxic consequences. It is Captain Nick Sloane's job to board troubled vessels and salvage what he can. Against heavy odds, he recently refloated the doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia. William Langewiesche explains why Sloane may be the most valuable man on the seas ..."

read article: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2014/12/nick-sloane-costa-concordia-salvage___

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2016-04-02 14:57:36 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

Hay-on-Wye: The Town of Books ... my kind of town! ... "Hay-on-Wye is a small market town and community on the banks of the river Wye in Powys, Wales, adjacent to the English border. Often described as "the town of books", Hay-on-Wye draws a large number of book lovers looking for bargain across more than 40 bookstores selling mostly second-hand books. The town is also home to the Hay Literature Festival which brings some 80,000 writers, publishers and literature fans from all across the world at end of May each year.

... internationally known as the "Town of Books". Today, the town receives an estimated 500,000 tourists a year. ..."

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/11/hay-on-wye-town-of-books.html

Hay-on-Wye: The Town of Books ... my kind of town! ... "Hay-on-Wye is a small market town and community on the banks of the river Wye in Powys, Wales, adjacent to the English border. Often described as "the town of books", Hay-on-Wye draws a large number of book lovers looking for bargain across more than 40 bookstores selling mostly second-hand books. The town is also home to the Hay Literature Festival which brings some 80,000 writers, publishers and literature fans from all across the world at end of May each year.

... internationally known as the "Town of Books". Today, the town receives an estimated 500,000 tourists a year. ..."

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/11/hay-on-wye-town-of-books.html___

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2016-04-02 14:57:17 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

Mitchell Falls in Australia ... Amusing Planet -- "Mitchell Falls is a beautiful four-tiered waterfall located in the remote north of the Kimberley Region in Western Australia, about 2,140 kilometers northeast of Perth. It is located within Mitchell River National Park and is one of the park’s main attractions.

Mitchell Falls can be accessed only helicopter or by foot during the dry season when the Gibb River Road is open from around May to November each year. The wet season starts from December and lasts until May during which the Mitchell Plateau area gets an average annual rainfall of some 1,600 mm. Torrential rains make rivers run wild eroding riverbeds and carrying away every thing in their path. As the torrents flood the high country, they fall in stupendous cataracts and waterfalls into deep gorges. ..."

more:h... more »

Mitchell Falls in Australia ... Amusing Planet -- "Mitchell Falls is a beautiful four-tiered waterfall located in the remote north of the Kimberley Region in Western Australia, about 2,140 kilometers northeast of Perth. It is located within Mitchell River National Park and is one of the park’s main attractions.

Mitchell Falls can be accessed only helicopter or by foot during the dry season when the Gibb River Road is open from around May to November each year. The wet season starts from December and lasts until May during which the Mitchell Plateau area gets an average annual rainfall of some 1,600 mm. Torrential rains make rivers run wild eroding riverbeds and carrying away every thing in their path. As the torrents flood the high country, they fall in stupendous cataracts and waterfalls into deep gorges. ..."

more: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/03/mitchell-falls-in-australia.html___

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2016-04-02 14:56:53 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

This may be the oldest surviving photo of a human (1826 or 27) ... "... It was taken by Louis Daguerre, the French photographer famous for pioneering the daguerreotype, an early type of photo produced on a silver plate or a silver-covered copper plate.

According to Retronaut's Amanda Uren, the exposure time for the image was around seven minutes. The street appears deserted because while the two human figures were relatively still, other pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages were moving too fast to register on the plate. ..." ... http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/06/living/oldest-photograph-human-daguerre/index.html?hpt=hp_t5

This may be the oldest surviving photo of a human (1826 or 27) ... "... It was taken by Louis Daguerre, the French photographer famous for pioneering the daguerreotype, an early type of photo produced on a silver plate or a silver-covered copper plate.

According to Retronaut's Amanda Uren, the exposure time for the image was around seven minutes. The street appears deserted because while the two human figures were relatively still, other pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages were moving too fast to register on the plate. ..." ... http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/06/living/oldest-photograph-human-daguerre/index.html?hpt=hp_t5___

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2016-04-02 14:56:33 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 2 +1s)Open 

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper ... http://www.wired.com/2014/05/reading-on-screen-versus-paper/

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper ... http://www.wired.com/2014/05/reading-on-screen-versus-paper/___

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2016-04-02 14:55:44 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

There is Nothing in Arizona .. "In a bare stretch of US Highway 93, between mile markers 148 and 149, stands Nothing, a small abandoned “town” with literally nothing to see or do. The most noteworthy structure in this 6-acre patch of ground is a sign hoisted high in the air decades ago that declares the spot as “Nothing”.

Another smaller signs reads:

Town of Nothing Arizona. Founded 1977. Elevation 3269ft.
The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Thru-the-years-these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.

The “town”, or rather a settlement, was founded in 1977 and originally had four inhabitants who together ran a gas stop and a garage. The gas station had a flat bed truck where the guys sold rocks and minerals scavenged from the surroundings aslocal souve... more »

There is Nothing in Arizona .. "In a bare stretch of US Highway 93, between mile markers 148 and 149, stands Nothing, a small abandoned “town” with literally nothing to see or do. The most noteworthy structure in this 6-acre patch of ground is a sign hoisted high in the air decades ago that declares the spot as “Nothing”.

Another smaller signs reads:

Town of Nothing Arizona. Founded 1977. Elevation 3269ft.
The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Thru-the-years-these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.

The “town”, or rather a settlement, was founded in 1977 and originally had four inhabitants who together ran a gas stop and a garage. The gas station had a flat bed truck where the guys sold rocks and minerals scavenged from the surroundings as local souvenirs. There were originally two buildings, but only one appears to be standing now.

In any case, Nothing apparently had a good run until 2005 when the owners decided to retire and sold the land. The new owner closed the store, tore out the gas tanks, for some reason, surrounded it with chain-link fence and put it up for sale again. The settlement got bought in 2008, and its new owner Mike Jensen opened a pizza business, run from a portable oven. Jensen had plans to revive the place but it didn’t work out, and by 2011 it was abandoned once again.

According to the most latest reports dating May 2014, Nothing still has no activity. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/10/there-is-nothing-in-arizona.html___

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2016-03-31 11:56:18 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

The Goat Doctor ... In the high mountains of Western North Carolina's Jackson County sits two roadside monuments -- one to the the man who placed the other monument to his beloved Aunt Sally. Dr. John R. Brinkley was a quack who made millions in the early19th century from patent remedies for such afflictions as the one addressed in more modern times by drugs like Viagra(r). He gained his "Boat Doctor" nickname for the practice of implanted goat glands into men for ... well, this is a family social network.

Dr. Brinkley was a true pioneer in radio and advertising. The monstrous radio station he build just out of US government control across the Mexican border from Del Rio, Texas. It was said to be so strong that it "lit lightbulbs in Kansas City." An exaggeration but the huge transmitter dominated the airwaves of the central United States with Brinkley's... more »

The Goat Doctor ... In the high mountains of Western North Carolina's Jackson County sits two roadside monuments -- one to the the man who placed the other monument to his beloved Aunt Sally. Dr. John R. Brinkley was a quack who made millions in the early19th century from patent remedies for such afflictions as the one addressed in more modern times by drugs like Viagra(r). He gained his "Boat Doctor" nickname for the practice of implanted goat glands into men for ... well, this is a family social network.

Dr. Brinkley was a true pioneer in radio and advertising. The monstrous radio station he build just out of US government control across the Mexican border from Del Rio, Texas. It was said to be so strong that it "lit lightbulbs in Kansas City." An exaggeration but the huge transmitter dominated the airwaves of the central United States with Brinkley's unregulated advertising.

He rode high for many years, the "Little Johnnie" mountain boy as he named himself on his tribute to his Aunt Sally. In the end, the government brought him down for his medical shenanigans (he was not a real doctor and his "cures" not effective). He died penniless. Yet, these monuments stand between Highway 107 and the rushing, rocky Tuckasegee River in the high green hills of his boyhood. They recall that even charlatans are human and can exhibit a good side. Aunt Sally would have been pleased at this aspect of Little Johnnie and tanned his hide for all the rest.

--Ralph Roberts

for more about the Goat Doctor, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Brinkley

https://goo.gl/photos/3pg7AXASmDwPVLb57___

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2016-03-23 22:15:43 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

Love coffee and experiment with the different methods of making just the right cup. I have French presses, percolators, dripolators, and even a Krupp espresso machine -- all not cheap. However, was in the local grocery supermarket yesterday and found the red box on the right below in the coffee section. Invented early in the 20th century by a German housewife, Melitta Bintz, it makes pour over coffee and was only $6.95. I had read ravings by coffee experts about the pour over method. Am much impressed. It's fast (just heat up the kettle) and easy and tastes great. Just sharing the coffee love here.

Love coffee and experiment with the different methods of making just the right cup. I have French presses, percolators, dripolators, and even a Krupp espresso machine -- all not cheap. However, was in the local grocery supermarket yesterday and found the red box on the right below in the coffee section. Invented early in the 20th century by a German housewife, Melitta Bintz, it makes pour over coffee and was only $6.95. I had read ravings by coffee experts about the pour over method. Am much impressed. It's fast (just heat up the kettle) and easy and tastes great. Just sharing the coffee love here.___

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2016-03-14 17:33:18 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s)Open 

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2016-03-12 00:36:04 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

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2016-03-09 14:13:25 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

Future? :)

Future? :)___

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2016-03-06 19:37:37 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

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2016-02-28 00:13:18 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

some mighty fine dirt road driving in the mountains of Western North Carolina today.

some mighty fine dirt road driving in the mountains of Western North Carolina today.___

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2016-02-21 17:53:53 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

I hope so.

America stands on the cusp of a new era in aviation that’s dramatically cleaner, quieter, and even faster. If approved, President Obama’s recently released federal budget request will be the first in a bold 10-year plan to achieve huge goals in reducing fuel use, emissions, and noise by the way aircraft are designed, and the way they operate in the air and on the ground. Details: http://go.nasa.gov/20LT8ms #FlyNASA___I hope so.

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2016-02-21 17:32:03 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s)Open 

Meet Ivy ... As Publisher of Creativity, Inc. it is my pleasure to introduce our latest release (read an excerpt via Inside the Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Qu3AQ5). Kindle edition now available, paperback and hardback coming soon. ...

Creativity, Inc. proudly presents Ivy in Africa, a powerful coming of age story. Ms. Birdie Jackson gifts us with an exciting story in this stand-alone novel of elephant shifters, wizards, callous ivory poachers, vicious Triad criminals, and deadly lizard men, full of interesting characters and action. Not to give things away, but the climactic battle to save the world on the top of Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is worth the cost of admission alone — elephants vs. dragons, who wins? We think you’ll love Ivy and her friends as much as we do.

Ivy Johnson eagerly looks forward to her senior year of high school. After alifet... more »

Meet Ivy ... As Publisher of Creativity, Inc. it is my pleasure to introduce our latest release (read an excerpt via Inside the Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Qu3AQ5). Kindle edition now available, paperback and hardback coming soon. ...

Creativity, Inc. proudly presents Ivy in Africa, a powerful coming of age story. Ms. Birdie Jackson gifts us with an exciting story in this stand-alone novel of elephant shifters, wizards, callous ivory poachers, vicious Triad criminals, and deadly lizard men, full of interesting characters and action. Not to give things away, but the climactic battle to save the world on the top of Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is worth the cost of admission alone — elephants vs. dragons, who wins? We think you’ll love Ivy and her friends as much as we do.

Ivy Johnson eagerly looks forward to her senior year of high school. After a lifetime of being chubby, she’s suddenly and mysteriously slim and smokin’ hot. She imagines boys stumbling into each other and their open locker doors when she walks down the corridor. But, okay, like any teenager she's got a few problems — nightmares of being an elephant chased by deadly poachers, visions or "daymares" of lizard men wanting to kill her, and she's developing magic with sparks flying at embarrassing moments.

Her parents, both retired doctors, suddenly announce they’ve accepted positions in a jungle hospital and the family is moving to Kenya. There her magic continues to develop and she learns she's an elephant shifter, with the first Change coming on her 18th birthday, only a couple of weeks away.

At her new school in Kenya, she finally has several friends. Her favorite class is Elephant Studies. Good news, her longtime boyfriend comes over from Kansas and he’s an elephant shifter also. Bad news, she’s dying real soon, like next week. Her special magic and the Change do not mix; the first mandatory shift to elephant form will kill her.

A gang of vicious elephant poachers wants to cull the local elephant herd for their tusks including the shifters that run with them, like her real mother. She must save them while she can. Things deteriorate from there. A Hong Kong criminal triad, dominated by evil and immortal ancient wizards, decides to take over the ivory poaching, ivory being the source of their power, a little more and the world’s theirs as well. In addition, the lizard men find her. They still intend to kill her.

Ivy must overcome the impossible to survive (that’s optional), save her new friends (a must) and the world from age-old evil (or else). Pressure much?

Read an excerpt via Inside the Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Qu3AQ5___

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2016-02-18 14:16:02 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 28 +1s)Open 

Legendary river that BOILS its victims alive is discovered deep in the heart of the Amazon ... "A mysterious, four-mile long river, deep in the heart of the Amazon, is so hot that it boils.

The river has long been a legend in Peru, but when geoscientist Andrés Ruzo's heard about it, he thought such a phenomenon was impossible.

He believed that it would require a huge amount of geothermal heat to boil even a small river, and the Amazon basin is far from any active volcanoes.

But then, Ruzo saw the legendary boiling river with his own eyes.

Ruzo first heard about the Mayantuyacu river when his grandfather told him a story about how Spanish conquistadors killed the last Inca emperor.

The story goes that after the murder, the Spanish conquistador headed into the Amazon rainforest in search of gold.

When they returned, the men... more »

Legendary river that BOILS its victims alive is discovered deep in the heart of the Amazon ... "A mysterious, four-mile long river, deep in the heart of the Amazon, is so hot that it boils.

The river has long been a legend in Peru, but when geoscientist Andrés Ruzo's heard about it, he thought such a phenomenon was impossible.

He believed that it would require a huge amount of geothermal heat to boil even a small river, and the Amazon basin is far from any active volcanoes.

But then, Ruzo saw the legendary boiling river with his own eyes.

Ruzo first heard about the Mayantuyacu river when his grandfather told him a story about how Spanish conquistadors killed the last Inca emperor.

The story goes that after the murder, the Spanish conquistador headed into the Amazon rainforest in search of gold.

When they returned, the men spoke of a terrifying experience that involved poisoned water, man-eating snakes and a river that boils from below.

Twelve years later, at a family dinner, Ruzo heard the river mentioned again when his aunt said that she had visited it.

As a PhD student in geophysics at Southern Methodist University, Ruzo wanted to find the river for himself.

'I began asking that question. Could the boiling river exist?, Ruzo said in Ted Talk.

'I asked colleagues from universities, the government, oil, gas and mining companies, and the answer was a unanimous no.

'And this makes sense. You see, boiling rivers do exist in the world, but they're generally associated with volcanoes. You need a powerful heat source to produce such a large geothermal manifestation. ..."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3451773/Don-t-fall-legendary-river-BOILS-victims-alive-discovered-deep-heart-Amazon.html
___

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2016-02-03 14:50:52 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

Lots of rain today in Western North Carolina ... but a lot better than the heavy snow two weeks ago.

Lots of rain today in Western North Carolina ... but a lot better than the heavy snow two weeks ago.___

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2016-01-29 22:00:17 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

playing with 3D animation, creating a cartoon ladder truck.

playing with 3D animation, creating a cartoon ladder truck.___

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2016-01-23 14:50:38 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 18 +1s)Open 

W5VEmobile still snowbound... about a foot of snow here at the home QTH near Asheville NC.

W5VEmobile still snowbound... about a foot of snow here at the home QTH near Asheville NC.___

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2016-01-23 02:11:07 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 18 +1s)Open 

Taken as I walked over from my office building here on the Bookfarm near Asheville NC. We have over 12 inches of snow and it's still coming down. ... The amazing thing to me about these photos is a) I survived the trek in the snow and b) I shot them using my new LG V10 phone (fantastic camera!) using available light.

Taken as I walked over from my office building here on the Bookfarm near Asheville NC. We have over 12 inches of snow and it's still coming down. ... The amazing thing to me about these photos is a) I survived the trek in the snow and b) I shot them using my new LG V10 phone (fantastic camera!) using available light.___

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2016-01-22 18:02:05 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

and still coming down here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, about five miles from Asheville.

and still coming down here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, about five miles from Asheville.___

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2016-01-22 15:25:12 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 19 +1s)Open 

scientific snow depth measurement using calibrated boots: deep. 

scientific snow depth measurement using calibrated boots: deep. ___

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