Thursday, 18 April 2013

Seven Mile Bridge in Florida

The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It connects Knight's Key (part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.
There are two bridges in this location. The older bridge, originally known as the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, was constructed from 1909-1912 under the direction of Henry Flagler as part of the Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension, also known as the Overseas Railroad.
The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It connects Knight's Key (part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.
Photo — Link

History — After the railroad sustained considerable damage due to effects of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the line was sold to the United States Federal Government, who subsequently refurbished Seven Mile Bridge for automobile use. Dismantled trackage was recycled, painted white, and used as guardrails. It had a swing span that opened to allow passage of boat traffic, near where the bridge crosses Pigeon Key, a small island where a work camp for Flagler's railroad was located. Hurricane Donna in 1960 caused further damage.
The current road bridge was constructed from 1978 to 1982. The vast majority of the original bridge still exists, used as fishing piers and access to Pigeon Key, but the swing span over the Moser Channel of the Intracoastal Waterway has been removed. 10 images after the break...

Pencil Celebrity Portraits by Rik Reimert

Bruce Willis
All artist Rik Reimert needs to create these detailed illustrations is some paper and some ink. The rest is a series of lines and hashmarks that Reimert builds, from light to dark, with Rotring Rapidographs—a variety of technical writing devices that provide consistent ink flow. The artist begins with pencil and then fills in the lines with his pens that vary in thickness from 0.2 to 0.8mm tips.
All artist Rik Reimert needs to create these detailed illustrations is some paper and some ink. The rest is a series of lines and hashmarks that Reimert builds, from light to dark, with Rotring Rapidographs—a variety of technical writing devices that provide consistent ink flow. The artist begins with pencil and then fills in the lines with his pens that vary in thickness from 0.2 to 0.8mm tips.
Most of the illustrations take an average of 6 to 8 hours to complete and feature famous celebrities like Benicio Del Toro, Bruce Willis, and Jaime Foxx. The artist says he chooses ink and paper because "Analog, that’s my thing. From music to photographs to art. Yes, of course we use computers and cellphones, but isn’t it great to put on a record on your turntable on a Sunday morning and just enjoy the cracks in the music and the great artwork on the cover?" 11 more images after the break...

Jail Turned Into Luxury Hotel — Hotel Het Arresthuis

Het Arresthuis is a 19th-century-prison turned luxury hotel in the Netherlands. The newly repurposed jailhouse has been completely redesigned with chic, spacious, modern motifs while maintaining its rich history as a former penitentiary. The building's new function invites visitors to take advantage of the hotel's unique Deluxe and Comfort suites while indulging in the venue's relaxing amenities—a sauna and a fitness center. Doing time never sounded so good!
The facility's 150 holding cells have be transformed into 36 luxurious rooms and 7 suites, including four special suites known as The Director, The Jailer, The Lawyer, and The Judge. These notable quarters are situated across the establishment's former warden chambers and sports area. Though they all offer similar perks like a comfy double bed, a rain shower, air conditioning, a flat screen TV, free WiFi, and even a personal coffee and tea machine, each suite is said to have its own character and style.

Het Arresthuis is a 19th-century-prison turned luxury hotel in the Netherlands. The newly repurposed jailhouse has been completely redesigned with chic, spacious, modern motifs while maintaining its rich history as a former penitentiary. The building's new function invites visitors to take advantage of the hotel's unique Deluxe and Comfort suites while indulging in the venue's relaxing amenities—a sauna and a fitness center. Doing time never sounded so good!
Additionally, the hotel has several communal areas that include a bar and restaurant. With a good sense of humor, the establishment jokingly assures visitors that they'll be offered a scrumptious menu that consists of more than just water and bread. 15 more images after the break...

The Hanging Fangweng Restaurant Above Yangtze River

Fangweng Restaurant is located in China, in Hubei Province, about 12km north of the city of Yichang, near Sanyou Cave, or “The Cave of the Three Travelers”. The restaurant is in the Happy Valley of the Xiling Gorge, an especially scenic stretch of cliffs, caves and park land located around the area where the Chang Jiang River flows into the Yangtze.


Fangweng Restaurant is located in China, in Hubei Province, about 12km north of the city of Yichang, near Sanyou Cave, or “The Cave of the Three Travelers”. The restaurant is in the Happy Valley of the Xiling Gorge, an especially scenic stretch of cliffs, caves and park land located around the area where the Chang Jiang River flows into the Yangtze. The entrance to the Fangweng Restaurant is an uninspiring grey brick building, but at the far end of a narrow concrete bridge, the restaurant caves into the cliff, the floor hanging several hundred feet above the ground. From this end, customers can view the flowing water of Yangtze River. For the daredevils, a bungee jumping platform is nearby.
Walking into the restaurant and down the steps, one will come to a natural “cave lobby”. Rightward, a 30-meter-long plank road has been built along the cliffside. It leads to another natural cave, which has been transformed into a dining hall. Warm lighting from the ceiling lends a golden yellow glow throughout. Dimly lit and Chinese-style furnishings blend in with its surroundings. Part of the dining hall hangs out of the cave, where some dining tables are placed. This is a place sitting high in the air, where the flowing waters can be watched from above. 06 more images after the break...

Huashan - The Most Dangerous Mountain Route in China

Mount Hua, or Hua Shan is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Xi'an. It is one of China's Five Great Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. Originally classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 metres (7,070 ft).
Mount Hua is located near the southeast corner of the Ordos Loop section of the Yellow River basin, south of the Wei River valley, at the eastern end of the Qin Mountains, in southern Shaanxi province. It is part of the Qin Ling Mountain Range that divides not only northern and southern Shaanxi, but also China.
Mount Hua Shan is located near the southeast corner of the Ordos Loop section of the Yellow River basin, south of the Wei River valley, at the eastern end of the Qin Mountains, in southern Shaanxi province. It is part of the Qin Ling Mountain Range that divides not only northern and southern Shaanxi, but also China.

Mount Hua, or Hua Shan is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Xi'an. It is one of China's Five Great Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. Originally classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 metres (7,070 ft).

As early as the 2nd century BCE, there was a Daoist temple known as the Shrine of the Western Peak located at its base. Daoists believed that in the mountain lives the god of the underworld. The temple at the foot of the mountain was often used for spirits mediums to contact the god and his underlings. Unlike Taishan, which became a popular place of pilgrimage, because of its inaccessibility to the summit, Huashan only received Imperial and local pilgrims, and was not well visited by pilgrims from the rest of China. Huashan was also an important place for immortality seekers, as many herbal Chinese medicines are grown and powerful drugs were reputed to be found there. Kou Qianzhi (365–448), the founder of the Northern Celestial Masters received revelations there, as did Chen Tuan (920–989), who spent the last part of his life in hermitage on the west peak. In the 1230s, all the temples on the mountain came under control of the Daoist Quanzhen School. In 1998, the management committee of Huashan agreed to turn over most of the mountain's temples to the China Daoist Association. This was done to help protect the environment, as the presence of taoists and nuns deters poachers and loggers. 26 more images after the break...

Yangshuo County — China

Yangshuo County is a county in Guilin, Guangxi Province, China.
Photo — Link

Yangshuo County is a county in Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. Its seat is located in Yangshuo Town. Surrounded by karst peaks and bordered on one side by the Li River it is easily accessible by bus or by boat from nearby Guilin. In the 1980s, the town became popular with foreign backpackers, and by the late 1990s packaged tourists began arriving in greater numbers. At that time, domestic tourism represented only a small fraction of the tourists but by 2005 domestic tourists outnumbered foreign tourists by a great margin. Today, the town has become a resort destination for both domestic and foreign travelers. 19 more images after the break...

Ouro Preto — Outstanding Baroque Architecture City of Brazil

Ouro Preto (from Portuguese, Black Gold) is a city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, a former colonial mining town located in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its outstanding Baroque architecture.
Photo — Link


Ouro Preto (from Portuguese, Black Gold) is a city in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, a former colonial mining town located in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its outstanding Baroque architecture.
History — Founded at the end of the 17th century, Ouro Preto (meaning Black Gold) was originally called Vila Rica, or "rich village", the focal point of the gold rush and Brazil's golden age in the 18th century under Portuguese rule.
The city contains well-preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, with few signs of modern urban life. Modern construction must adhere to historical standards maintained by the city. 18th- and 19th-century churches decorated with gold and the sculptured works of Aleijadinho make Ouro Preto a prime tourist destination. 09 more images after the break...

Lencois Maranhenses National Park — Brazil

The Lencois Maranhenses National Park Brazil (Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses) is located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil, just east of the Baía de São José, between 02º19’—02º45’ S and 42º44’—43º29’ W. It is an area of low, flat, occasionally flooded land, overlaid with large, discrete sand dunes. It encompasses roughly 1500 square kilometers, and despite abundant rain, supports almost no vegetation. The park was created on June 2, 1981. It was featured in the Brazilian film The House of Sand. Most recently, it was featured in the song "Kadhal Anukkal" from the Indian film, Enthiran.
The Lencois Maranhenses National Park Brazil (Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses) is located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil, just east of the Baía de São José, between 02º19’—02º45’ S and 42º44’—43º29’ W. It is an area of low, flat, occasionally flooded land, overlaid with large, discrete sand dunes. It encompasses roughly 1500 square kilometers, and despite abundant rain, supports almost no vegetation. The park was created on June 2, 1981. It was featured in the Brazilian film The House of Sand. Most recently, it was featured in the song "Kadhal Anukkal" from the Indian film, Enthiran.
Photo — Link

Visiting — Located on the eastern coast of the state of Maranhão by the banks of the Preguiças River, the park embraces the municipalities of Humberto de Campos, Primeira Cruz, Santo Amaro and Barreirinhas, the latest serving as the main jumping off point into the protected park.
There are several regular bus/truck routes between Barreirinhas and São Luís, Brazil (Maranhão's capital), a distance of about 260km. There are also air taxis from São Luís to Barreirinhas. The Rio Preguiças river connects the park to Atins, a city at the edge of the park. The most important access roads near the park are BR-135, BR-222, MA-404, MA-225, and
The National Park is quite extensive and has no access roads. Because of the nature of the park's protected status, most vehicles are not permitted access. Entrance to the park is made exclusively by 4-wheel drive trucks. 14 more images after the break...

Ferrari Park in Abu Dhabi



“Ferrari World Abu Dhabi”, you only need to say the name and the possibilities start racing through your head. This is a world first from a brand that thrives on being first.“Opening in 2010, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is set to be the world’s largest indoor theme park, sitting under a roof designed in the style of a classic double-curve body shell of a Ferrari GT car. There is energy, excitement and passion for the entire family at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. With over 20 rides and attractions, including the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Ferrari World is more than a theme park – it is where Ferrari’s legendary story is unveiled.”Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will captivate the whole family with its array of engaging activities. Couple this with its extremely innovative architecture, a dash of Italian spirit, and you will surely live an experience like nothing else you have before.  07 more images after the break...

The Tower Al-Bahar —--- Abu Dhabi

A quick glimpse at the upcoming weather for Abu Dhabi will show a week of intense sunshine, temperatures steadily above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 0% chance of rain.  In such extreme weather conditions, even architects listing environmental design as their top priority are up against a tough battle.  Never mind that the sand can compromise the structural integrity of the building, the intense heat and glare can render a comfortable indoor environment relatively impossible if not properly addressed.  For Abu Dhabi’s newest pair of towers, Aedas Architects have designed a responsive facade which takes cultural cues from the “mashrabiya”, a traditional Islamic lattice shading device.
Completed in June 2012, the 145 meter towers’ Masharabiya shading system was developed by the computational design team at Aedas.  Using a parametric description for the geometry of the actuated facade panels, the team was able to simulate their operation in response to sun exposure and changing incidence angles during the different days of the year.

Abu Dhabi will show a week of intense sunshine, temperatures steadily above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 0% chance of rain.  In such extreme weather conditions, even architects listing environmental design as their top priority are up against a tough battle.  Never mind that the sand can compromise the structural integrity of the building, the intense heat and glare can render a comfortable indoor environment relatively impossible if not properly addressed.  For Abu Dhabi’s newest pair of towers Al-Bahar, Aedas Architects have designed a responsive facade which takes cultural cues from the “mashrabiya”, a traditional Islamic lattice shading device.

The screen opperates as a curtain wall, sitting two meters outside the buildings’ exterior on an independent frame.  Each triangle is coated with fiberglass and programmed to respond to the movement of the sun as a way to reduce solar gain and glare.  In the evening, all the screens will close.
“At night they will all fold, so they will all close, so you’ll see more of the facade.  As the sun rises in the morning in the east, the mashrabiya along the east of the building will all begin to close and as the sun moves round the building, then that whole vertical strip of mashrabiya will move with the sun,” said Peter Oborn, the deputy chairman of Aedas. 11 more images after the break...

Moreton Island — The Island of sunken ships


Moreton Island — Australia - A large sandy island, 36 km. length and area of 17,500 hectares, 35 km. from Brisbane. The island forms the eastern boundary of Moreton Bay Marine Park to the south-east Queensland. 98% of the island covers the National Park Moreton Islands National Park, which protects its unique vegetation, wildlife, freshwater lakes and springs and its magnificent coastal dunes.
Photo — Link

Moreton Island — Australia - A large sandy island, 36 km. length and area of 17,500 hectares, 35 km. from Brisbane. The island forms the eastern boundary of Moreton Bay Marine Park to the south-east Queensland. 98% of the island covers the National Park Moreton Islands National Park, which protects its unique vegetation, wildlife, freshwater lakes and springs and its magnificent coastal dunes. 11 more images after the break...

The Hidden Beach in the Marietas Islands

Marietas Islands, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is currently gaining a lot of attention by tourists. Many have visited this site before but couldn’t understand the wow factor involved until after an impressive and beautifully detailed capture of this beach was photographed by Thomas Porty.
The Marietas Islands in Mexico is said to have formed centuries ago due to volcanic activity and are entirely uninhabited. The islands are about an hour long boat ride west-northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta and are visited daily by hundreds of tourists, yet no one can legally set foot on the islands.
Marieta Islands, off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is currently gaining a lot of attention by tourists. Many have visited this site before but couldn’t understand the wow factor involved until after an impressive and beautifully detailed capture of this beach was photographed by Thomas Porty.
Photo — Link

The Mexican government in the early 1900s began conducting military testing on the islands taking advantage of the fact that they were uninhabited. Large explosions and bombings during these testing is said to be the cause for the formation of the many incredible caves and rocks.
After a massive international uproar, prompted by scientist Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s, the government eventually decided to label the islands a national park, thereby protecting it against any fishing, hunting or human activity. As of now the only human activity that is legal near the islands is snorkeling and kayaking tours that occur daily.
A water tunnel in the Marietas Island lead swimmers to the hidden beach. It is approximately a forty to fifty feet swim through the cave with about five to six feet of space above water level to the rock. As it is not an underwater tunnel, there is no necessity for a scuba gear or to even hold your breath. 13 more images after the break...

Salar de Uyuni — World’s Largest Mirrors

Salar de Uyuni (salar is salt flat in Spanish) is currently the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). Actually, some 30,000–42,000 years ago, the area was part of a giant prehistoric lake, Lake Minchin. When it dried, it left behind two modern lakes and two major salt deserts, Salar de Coipasa and the larger Salar de Uyuni. 08 more images after the break...

LEGO Based Hotel in California

Playing with LEGOs is such fun, but getting to stay in a real-life LEGO hotel!? It's every kid's (and some parents') dream come true! This LEGO-themed hotel is located at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California, and it is scheduled to open on April 5, 2013. The 250-room hotel stands three stories high and features a large amount of colorful figures and sculptures, built completely out of LEGOs.
Visitors to the hotel will be able to select their favorite toy theme—Pirates, Kingdom, or Adventure—and experience the fun of the popular building bricks in a round-the-clock world of excitement. Every room is filled with decor that will transport hotel guests into a unique and imaginary land. Search your pirate's cabin for clues to crack the code to the treasure chest, avoid the toy tarantulas, lizards, and scorpions on a great jungle adventure, or fight off dragons and become a family of royalty in your own personal kingdom. 14 more images after the break...

Manhattan of the Desert Shibam — Yemen

The city of Shibam, located in the central-western area of Hadhramaut Governorate, in the Ramlat al-Sab`atayn desert, is best known for its towering mudbrick skyscrapers. This small town of 7000 is packed with around 500 mud houses standing between 5 and 11 stories tall and reaching 100 feet high, all constructed entirely of mud bricks. The bizarre skyline that the high rise buildings bestow upon the city has earned Shibam the moniker "Manhattan of the Desert."
Shibam is often called "the oldest skyscraper city in the world" and is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. Its plan is trapezoidal, almost rectangular; and it is enclosed by earthen walls within which a block of dwellings, also built from earth, have been laid out on an orthogonal grid. Shibam was founded in the 3rd century AD, but most of the houses you see here dates only to the 16th century, following a devastating flood of which Shibam was the victim in 1532-33. However, some older houses and large buildings still remain from the first centuries of Islam, such as the Friday Mosque, built in 904, and the castle, built in 1220.

The city of Shibam, located in the central-western area of Hadhramaut Governorate, in the Ramlat al-Sab`atayn desert, is best known for its towering mudbrick skyscrapers. This small town of 7000 is packed with around 500 mud houses standing between 5 and 11 stories tall and reaching 100 feet high, all constructed entirely of mud bricks. The bizarre skyline that the high rise buildings bestow upon the city has earned Shibam the moniker "Manhattan of the Desert."
Photo — Link
In general the windowless lower floors are used for grain storage, with areas for domestic use above and those for family and leisure above that. The main room on the second floor is used by men for socializing. It often has wonderful carved plasterwork and freestanding decorated wooden columns supporting the ceiling, while women's areas are found higher, usually on the third or fourth floor. The highest rooms are for communal use by the whole family, and on the upper levels there are often bridges and doors connecting the houses. These are a defensive feature, but also a practical one – especially for old people who find it difficult to walk up and down the interminable staircases. 08 more images after the break...

The Atlantic Ocean and The Caribbean Sea at Eleuthera

Eleuthera is one of several islands that lies within the archipelago in The Bahamas, about 80 km east of the capital city Nassau. It is long – about 180 km – and thin - only about 1.6 km wide in places. The light blue waters of the shallow Caribbean Sea on one side of the island stand out in stark contrast to the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean thousands of feet in depth. One of the best places to see this extraordinary juxtaposition is at the Glass Window Bridge.
The Glass Window Bridge is about two miles east of Upper Bogue and joins Gregory Town and Lower Bogue at the narrowest point on the island. It is one of the few places on earth where you can compare the rich blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the road and the calm turquoise-green waters of the Exuma Sound (Caribbean Sea) on the other side, separated by a strip of rock just 30 feet wide.

Eleuthera is one of several islands that lies within the archipelago in The Bahamas, about 80 km east of the capital city Nassau. It is long – about 180 km – and thin - only about 1.6 km wide in places. The light blue waters of the shallow Caribbean Sea on one side of the island stand out in stark contrast to the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean thousands of feet in depth. One of the best places to see this extraordinary juxtaposition is at the Glass Window Bridge.
Over the natural rock bridge, a concrete bridge has been built that connects the northern and southern points of Eleuthera by a paved road. The Glass Window Bridge is one of the most visited places in the island. 05 more images after the break...

26 Absolutely Breathtaking Photos of Central Park

After seeing just one magical photo of Central Park in the winter (see above composite by Stephen Wilkes), we felt compelled to put together this list of 20 of the most breathtaking photos of the world's most famous park. Though it officially opened in 1857, it was a year later that landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux beat out 32 entries to win a landscape design contest that would transform the park. They called their project the Greensward Plan. 25 more images after the break...

The Pearl of the Desert — Ghadames

The Old Town of Ghadames is known as the “pearl of the desert”, is an oasis town in the Nalut District of the Tripolitania region in southwestern Libya. It is one of the oldest Pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. The town has a population of around 10,000, mainly Berbers, who live in tightly clustered traditional mud-brick-and-palm houses, packed together like a honeycomb. The houses have a typical vertical architecture - the ground floor is used to store supplies, then another floor for the family, and at the top, open-air terraces are reserved for the women. Rooftop walkways allow women to move freely, concealed from men’s view. Overhanging structures cover the alleys between houses creating an almost underground network of passageways.
Ghadames, known as the “pearl of the desert”, is an oasis town in the Nalut District of the Tripolitania region in southwestern Libya. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. The town has a population of around 10,000, mainly Berbers, who live in tightly clustered traditional mud-brick-and-palm houses, packed together like a honeycomb. The houses have a typical vertical architecture - the ground floor is used to store supplies, then another floor for the family, and at the top, open-air terraces are reserved for the women. Rooftop walkways allow women to move freely, concealed from men’s view. Overhanging structures cover the alleys between houses creating an almost underground network of passageways.
Photo — Link
Ghademes is an old town. The first records about Ghadames date from the Roman period, when the settlement was known as Cydamus, a fortified city dating back to the 1st century BC. Today it is a small oasis city situated next to a palm grove. None of the surviving buildings date from the protohistoric Berber period, or the period of Roman domination, yet a remarkable domestic architectural style distinguishes Ghadamès from other pre-Saharan cities and settlements stretching along the northern edge of the desert from Libya to Mauritania. Roughly circular in layout, the historic city of Ghadamès comprises a cluster of houses. The reinforced outer walls of the houses on the edge of the city form a fortified wall. This rudimentary urban enclosure is penetrated here and there by doors and bastions.
The houses have a minimum of two main floors. The ground floor, which may be sunken, is accessed by a single door that opens onto a narrow hallway leading to a rectangular-shaped room where provisions are stored. At the back there is a staircase that leads to a much more spacious upper level. The first floor generally includes a raised attic and bedrooms, and sometimes a sitting-room. Sometimes there is a second floor with a similar layout. Ground-level living space encroaches upon the blind enclosed passageways along the walls on the ground floor which open onto the city, forming arcades rather than actual streets. At the level of the terraces only the projecting portion formed by the raised attic rises above the roof, marked off by low enclosure walls.
The terraces of adjacent houses are joined with each other forming an open cityscape. The terrace is the domain of women, and gives them a great deal of freedom. Communicating between terraces they make friends with neighbours and can even move about the 'roof' of the city. The covered arcades at ground level are generally reserved for men. The old part of the town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. 11 more images after the break...

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (Turkey)

Hagia Sophia, also known as the “Church of the Holy Wisdom”, is located in Istanbul, Turkey. The church has been turned into a museum now. The church was made by the first Christian Emperor – Constantine the Great, who is also known as the founder of Constantinople. This church is the greatest church out of the many churches he built in many cities. The church which stands today is nothing of the original one due to the destruction that occurred through time. When the original Hagia Sophia was destroyed, it was rebuilt by Theodosius the Great, but sadly it was burnt down again in the Nika riots of 532. Some of the remains can still be seen after deep excavations.
Photo — Link
Hagia Sophia, also known as the “Church of the Holy Wisdom”, is located in Istanbul, Turkey. The church has been turned into a museum now. The church was made by the first Christian Emperor – Constantine the Great, who is also known as the founder of Constantinople. This church is the greatest church out of the many churches he built in many cities. The church which stands today is nothing of the original one due to the destruction that occurred through time. When the original Hagia Sophia was destroyed, it was rebuilt by Theodosius the Great, but sadly it was burnt down again in the Nika riots of 532. Some of the remains can still be seen after deep excavations.
Photo — Link
Hagia Sophia, "Holy Wisdom" is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.
The Church was dedicated to the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity, its dedication feast taking place on 25 December, the anniversary of the Birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although it is sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Saint Sophia), sophia is the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom – the full name in Greek being  "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".
Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture." It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years thereafter, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having both been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek scientists Isidore of Miletus, a physicist, and Anthemius of Tralles, a mathematician. 34 more images after the break...

Metropol Parasol — World's Largest Wooden Structure

Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. Designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, the structure resembles a grove of prefabricated wooden trees soaring 26 meters into the air. It has dimensions of 150 by 70 metres and claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.
Photo — Link

Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. Designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, the structure resembles a grove of prefabricated wooden trees soaring 26 meters into the air. It has dimensions of 150 by 70 metres and claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. The building is popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnación's mushrooms).
The Metropol Parasol actually is a device for revitalising the Plaza de la Encarnación, which was used as a parking lot for years and seen as a dead spot between more popular tourist destinations in the city. The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, whose design is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. The Parasol contains a market, shops, and a podium for concerts and events. In the basement is an Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on-site are displayed in a museum. On the roof there is an open-air public plaza, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events. There are panoramic terraces, including a restaurant, offering one of the best views of the city centre. 09 more images after the break...

Top 10 Youngest Billionaires on the Forbes

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has occupied the top spot on the Forbes' youngest billionaires list, beating Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The list also includes Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker from Facebook. Others featuring on the list are Hariri brothers, Scott Duncan and Yishikazu Tanaka.
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has occupied the top spot on the Forbes' youngest billionaires list, beating Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The list also includes Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker from Facebook. Others featuring on the list are Hariri brothers, Scott Duncan and Yishikazu Tanaka. Top 10 Youngest Billionaires after the break...

Top 10 Greek Islands

With 227 inhabited islands, surrounded by crystal clear waters and offering world class beaches and landscapes, it is only natural that Greece was one of the first holiday destinations when mass tourism started a few decades ago. Some islands became so popular that their entire economies are now centred on the tourist trade. However, there are others that have only been ‘discovered’ as holiday destinations - even by the Greeks - in recent years. Although the generalised term “Greek Islands’ brings to mind one particular kind of holiday, every single one of them has its own distinct character. Some are rocky, others green. Some are mountainous, others flat. Many are infamous for their nightlife, while others are renowned for their tranquility and relaxed lifestyle. Quite a few cater to high-end tourism and exclusive crowds, while there are islands that attract young and alternative types. A top ten list can never be exhaustive by any means, and you can only discover your own personal paradise by trial and error. In this issue we present ten of the most popular islands, a beginner’s list of classic Greek destinations.
01. Santorini Island
If you’re going to visit only one Greek island in your life then let it be Santorini. Breathtaking volcanic views and one of the best sunsets in the world consistently place it at the top of any Greek islands list. Its beaches are very peculiar (and do not appeal to everyone) due to the black and red volcanic sand. Couples should opt for tranquil and romantic Oia, where luxury rooms with a Caldera (the volcanic crater) view can cost a forune, whereas those young at heart should choose Fira, the lively capital of the island built on top of the Caldera cliff with equally fantastic views. The eastern side of the island is generally cheaper and has little of the magic Santorini feel.
Photo — Link

If you’re going to visit only one Greek island in your life then let it be Santorini. Breathtaking volcanic views and one of the best sunsets in the world consistently place it at the top of any Greek islands list. Its beaches are very peculiar (and do not appeal to everyone) due to the black and red volcanic sand. Couples should opt for tranquil and romantic Oia, where luxury rooms with a Caldera (the volcanic crater) view can cost a forune, whereas those young at heart should choose Fira, the lively capital of the island built on top of the Caldera cliff with equally fantastic views. The eastern side of the island is generally cheaper and has little of the magic Santorini feel.
Photo — Link
If you’re going to visit only one Greek island in your life then let it be Santorini. Breathtaking volcanic views and one of the best sunsets in the world consistently place it at the top of any Greek islands list. Its beaches are very peculiar (and do not appeal to everyone) due to the black and red volcanic sand. Couples should opt for tranquil and romantic Oia, where luxury rooms with a Caldera (the volcanic crater) view can cost a forune, whereas those young at heart should choose Fira, the lively capital of the island built on top of the Caldera cliff with equally fantastic views. The eastern side of the island is generally cheaper and has little of the magic Santorini feel. 09 more after the break...

Roman Aqueduct of Segovia

Photo credit

The Aqueduct of Segovia (or more precisely, the aqueduct bridge) is a Roman aqueduct and one of the most significant and best-preserved ancient monuments left on the Iberian Peninsula. It is located in Spain and is the foremost symbol of Segovia, as evidenced by its presence on the city's coat of arms.

As the aqueduct lacks a legible inscription (one was apparently located in the structure's attic, or top portion), the date of construction cannot be definitively determined. Researchers have placed it between the second half of the 1st Century AD and the early years of the 2nd Century—during the reign of either Emperor Vespasian or Nerva. The beginnings of Segovia itself are likewise not definitively known. The people called Vaccaei are known to have populated the place or area before the Romans conquered the city. Roman troops sent to control the area stayed behind to settle there. The area fell within the jurisdiction of the Roman provincial court (Latin conventus iuridici, Spanish convento jurídico) located in Clunia.

Milla Jovovich Photoshoot

Milla Jovovich – Alexei Hay Photoshoot for Cosmopolitan
Milla Jovovich – Alexei Hay Photoshoot for Cosmopolitan, 05 more images after the break...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Blanket of fog hangs over the Dubai

Dubai-based German photographer Sebastian Opitz captures the surreal and mystical look of his adopted city as fog rolls in and out at sunrise. The photographer renames the cityscape as Cloud City for the brief moments when the mist takes over and fills the empty space between the towering buildings. Optiz's images offer a serene and dreamy view of a bustling city, re-imagining it as a heavenly metropolis in the sky.

Dubai-based German photographer Sebastian Opitz captures the surreal and mystical look of his adopted city as fog rolls in and out at sunrise. The photographer renames the cityscape as Cloud City for the brief moments when the mist takes over and fills the empty space between the towering buildings. Optiz's images offer a serene and dreamy view of a bustling city, re-imagining it as a heavenly metropolis in the sky.

The photographer says, "I've been living in Dubai for over four years now and always dreamed of taking one of those rare shots from above the fog. This only happens on 4 - 6 days per year and when it happens it will be over by 9 AM. So one has to make sure to be up on the roof of a tower before sunrise and hope for the best." Luckily, Opitz was there to catch the magical event from high above the city on the 85th floor of the Princess Tower.
Opitz also took a time lapse video that covers a little over four hours in less than two minutes.08 more images after the break...

Top 10 World's Largest Lake

10. Great Slave Lake
Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada (after Great Bear Lake), the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres (336 fathoms; 2,010 ft), and the ninth-largest lake in the world. It is 480 km (300 mi) long and 19 to 109 km (12 to 68 mi) wide. It covers an area of 27,200 km2 (10,502 sq mi) in the southern part of the territory. Its given volume ranges from 1,070 km3 (260 cu mi) to 1,580 km3 (380 cu mi) and up to 2,088 km3 (501 cu mi) making it the 10th or 12th largest.
Photo — Link

Countries with shoreline — Canada
Area — 28,930 km2 (11,170 sq mi)
Length — 480 km (300 mi)
Maximum depth — 614 m (2,014 ft)
Water volume — 2,090 km3 (500 cu mi)

Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada (after Great Bear Lake), the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres (336 fathoms; 2,010 ft), and the ninth-largest lake in the world. It is 480 km (300 mi) long and 19 to 109 km (12 to 68 mi) wide. It covers an area of 27,200 km2 (10,502 sq mi) in the southern part of the territory. Its given volume ranges from 1,070 km3 (260 cu mi) to 1,580 km3 (380 cu mi) and up to 2,088 km3 (501 cu mi) making it the 10th or 12th largest.


The lake shares its name with the Slavey First Nations. Towns situated on the lake include: Yellowknife, Hay River, Behchoko, Fort Resolution, Lutselk'e, Hay River Reserve, Dettah and N'Dilo. The only community in the East Arm is Lutselk'e, a hamlet of about 350 people, largely Chipewyan Aboriginals of the Dene Nation and the now abandoned winter camp/Hudson's Bay Company post, Fort Reliance. 09 more lakes after the break...

Richa Gangopadhyay Photoshoot

Richa Gangopadhyay Photoshoot

Richa Gangopadhyay Photoshoot, 07 more images after the break...

Neha Dhupia FHM India February 2013

Indian actress and model Neha Dhupia is the cover star of the men’s magazine FHM India for their February 2013 issue.
Indian actress and model Neha Dhupia is the cover star of the men’s magazine FHM India for their February 2013 issue. 06 more images after the break...

Kim Kardashian – Photoshoot

Kim Kardashian – Photoshoot for V Magazine Fall 2012
Kim Kardashian – Photoshoot for V Magazine Fall (2012), 07 more images after the break...

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