Monday, February 25, 2013
The photo of a lifesaver warning surfers to get out of the sea as a severe storm approaches Ormond Beach in Florida was taken by Jason Weingart. He regularly braves inclement conditions to take photos and video of violent storms all over North America.
Jason said: "There is nothing in the world quite like storm chasing. 99 per cent of the time is sheer boredom; looking at weather models and forecast products, driving to the target, sitting around and waiting for storms to fire. But that one per cent of the time, when you are standing next to a perfectly structured supercell or a severe thunderstorm pumping out billions of volts of electricity, makes it all worthwhile.
Lightning explodes from a supernal in Nebraska. Composite of 31 images shot over a 10-minute period.
"There are moments when we are getting slammed with large hail and extreme winds, when I think death is a very real possibility. We're all going to die sometime. I feel that we should make the most of our time here on Earth. It's truly awe inspiring to see what our world is capable of. The way that rivers of air and pools of moisture in the sky can come together to produce a giant engine in our atmosphere makes me feel like I am part of something bigger. Getting to experience the violence and beauty that mother nature is capable of is something I wouldn't trade for anything.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
No chance of a tropical storm here then! Incredible pictures show luxury resort complete with sandy beaches, palm trees and clear blue water... inside enormous German hangar surrounded by snow
By Anthony Bond
With sandy beaches, clear blue water and palm trees, this looks like a spectacular and luxurious sun-kissed resort.
Holidaymakers can be seen relaxing in swimming shorts and bikinis. Even the occasional flamingo can be spotted.
But not everything is as it seems at Tropical Islands.
Luxury: With sandy beaches, clear blue water and palm trees, this looks like a spectacular sun-kissed resort
Fun: Despite appearances, not everything is as it seems at Tropical Islands
Odd: The 'resort' is actually located on the site of a former Soviet military air base in Krausnick, Germany
The 'resort' is actually located on the site of a former Soviet military air base in Krausnick, Germany.
Tropical Islands is inside a hangar built originally to house airships designed to haul long-distance cargo. And despite it looking like temperatures are through the roof - outside the giant hanger it is actually snowing.
Real-life angry hippos: Two males go head-to-head in brutal territory battle
These incredible images show two aggressive hippos going head-to-head in a violent confrontation to prove themselves in front of their female mates.
The hippopotamuses can be seen locking jaws in battle as blood gushes out from their wounds.
Hippos are by nature very aggressive and males will often battle each other to mark their territory and claim to female mates.
The striking snaps were taken by Tony Dilger in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Face off: A young male, pictured right, challenges an older bull over his territory at Kruger National Park in South Africa
Tussle: The male hippos - which can weigh up to three tonnes - are the third largest land mammal in the world and are known for their aggressiveness. Here, the younger male can be seen pushing forward with an explosion of water towards his target
Mr Dilger, from Yorkshire, said: 'The two pink giant hippos met in a head-on collision. It was a spectacle so sudden and violent, it was painful to watch.
'If we thought this would be a lumbering, slow-motion drama we were in for a shock. It was explosive.'
Mr Dilger then went on to describe how the two hippos battled for ten minutes until a winner could be decided.
He continued: 'For ten minutes, water was thrown high into the air as they surged at each other, their foot-long tusks jabbing into pink flesh, each trying to turn or out-climb the other to deliver a decisive blow.
'The challenger, with slighter build, was more adept and his strategy of gravity-assisted plunge from above seemed to be winning the battle.
Killer tactics: But as the younger male surges forward, the older bull lowers himself into the water and impales the young hippo on his tusks
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Danger, VERY wide loads: Chinese drivers push their vehicles to the limit with hilariously huge cargoes
It is surely a recipe for disaster, but many Chinese motorists cannot resist the urge to pile their tricycles and trucks as high as they possibly can while they move their goods - and families - across town.
Seemingly relaxed, these pictures show drivers on Chinese roads going about their daily business with alarming volumes of precarious cargo tottering above their heads.
Pictures from across China show ridiculously heavy trucks leaning at unusual angles, and tractors stacked 15-foot-high with recycled bottles and plastic negotiating roads full of traffic.
These motorists give the term "wide load" a whole new meaning.
Cushioned landing: This truck is clearly battling with its load as it veers along a national highway in Hai'an, China but it looks as though it would have a soft landing if it did keel over
Steady as he goes: A truck driver keeps his precarious logs in place, but has to stop to explain to a traffic police officer in Nanchang, China
Precious cargo: A fearless bike rider has his goods and family piled above his head as he pedals hard down the street
Explore the ancient underground tomb that house over 6 million Parisian bodies — The Catacombs of Paris or Catacombes de Paris are an underground ossuary in Paris, France. Located south of the former city gate (the "Barrière d'Enfer" at today's Place Denfert-Rochereau), the ossuary holds the remains of about six million people and fills a renovated section of caverns and tunnels that are the remains of Paris's stone mines. Opened in the late 18th century, the underground cemetery became a tourist attraction on a small scale from the early 19th century, and has been open to the public on a regular basis from 1874. Following an incident of vandalism, they were closed to the public in September 2009 and reopened 19 December of the same year.
The official name for the catacombs is l'Ossuaire Municipal. Although this cemetery covers only a small section of underground tunnels comprising "les carrières de Paris" ("the quarries of Paris"), Parisians today often refer to the entire tunnel network as "the catacombs".
Background: Paris cemeteries
Since Roman times, Paris has buried its dead on the outskirts of the city, but habits changed with the rise of Christianity and its practice of burying its faithful in the consecrated ground under and around its churches, no matter their location. By the 10th century, many of Paris's parish cemeteries were well within city limits, and eventually some, because of their central location in dense urban growth, were unable to expand and became overcrowded. An attempt to remedy this situation came in the early 12th century with the opening of a central mass burial ground for those not wealthy enough to pay for a church burial. Depending on the St. Opportune church near Paris's central Les Halles district, this cemetery had its own Saints Innocents church and parish appellation by the end of the same century. Eventually, Paris's other churches adopted the technique of mass inhumation as well. Once an excavation in one section of the cemetery was full, it would be covered over and another opened. Residues resulting from the decaying of organic matter, a process often chemically accelerated with the use of lime, entered directly into the earth, creating a situation unacceptable for a city whose then-principal source of water was wells.
By the 17th century, the sanitary conditions around Saints Innocents had become unbearable. As it was one of Paris's most sought-after cemeteries and a large source of revenue for the parish and church, the clergy had continued burials there even when its grounds were filled to overflowing. By then, the cemetery was lined on all four sides with "charniers" reserved for the bones of the dead exhumed from mass graves that had "lain" long enough for all the flesh they contained to decompose. Once emptied, a mass sepulchre would be used again, but even then, the earth was already filled beyond saturation with decomposing human remains.
A series of ineffective decrees limiting the use of the cemetery did little to remedy the situation, and it wasn't until the late 18th century that it was decided to create three new large-scale suburban burial grounds on the outskirts of the city, and to condemn all existing parish cemeteries within city limits. The new cemeteries were created outside the central area of the capital, in the early 19th century: Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Père Lachaise Cemetery in the east, Passy Cemetery in the west. Later, Montparnasse Cemetery was added in the south.
Photo ERIK DE CASTRO/REUTERS
Manila's zoo owner, Emmanuel Tangco, not only handles snakes for a living, he also sleeps with them on occasion. Zoo owner Emmanuel Tangco read a book to his snakes in his bedroom in Malabon, Metro Manila Feb 3- 2013. The Lunar New Year begins on february 10 this year and marks the strart of the year of the snake.
Photo ERIK DE CASTRO/REUTERS
Photo ERIK DE CASTRO/REUTERS
Friday, February 22, 2013
Juan Panesso has had a lot of strange requests over the years he's managed his online cigar store-- but a 20-foot long stogie with a $200,000 price tag was easily the strangest. And the most stressful.
'We try to cater to premium high end sm0kers,' Mr Panesso tells the Daily Mail. 'But we've never had something like this. It's really odd, and stressful and exciting at the same time.
'We thought it was a case of fraud,' he said. 'I mean, we didn't believe it. It was not just an odd request, it was also a large amount of money. We wouldn't just take a credit card on that order.' Mr Panesso, who manages the Florida-based CigarsDirect.com, got a call from a customer two weeks ago with a laundry list of expensive requests. 'It was like he had just read the ratings and was picking the best cigars.'
The customer, who Mr Penesso said is a private collector who lives outside the United States, asked about a very rare, high-end cigar that costs $750. The man ordered 100. 'At that point I didn't believe him at all,' Mr Panesso said. 'It's like buying a 100 Ferraris. In my years here I have never sold one of these cigars.'
Then came the big request: find the world's biggest cigar.
For over 13 years now, Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara has been taking pictures of her grandmother Misao, in order to leave a living proof of the woman's life. Eight years ago, though, Misao found a wonderful companion – an odd-eyed kitten that found his way to the shed.
The 88-year-old woman named him Fukumaru, which translated from Japanese roughly means "a circle of good fortune". Misao and her odd-eyed feline friend have been doing everything together ever since. The woman still goes out into the fields every day, and Fukumaru follows her every step. They eat, rest, water the plants and do their chores together.
Seeing that the strong bond and love between the two shines out of every photo, Miyoko published a hard cover portrait album, called "Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat".
Small rooms, narrow windows and little furniture – for some it may sound like Harry Potter's basement, but in reality they're rooms in a brand-new capsule hotel in central Moscow, which looks like a space orbital.
Located just minutes away from Kremlin and other major landmarks, the new Sleepbox hotel is the first of its kind in Moscow, and it costs less than 100 bucks per night.
It probably will not win your heart with a picturesque view or luxuriously appointed rooms, but it does promise to be a unique experience.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Dominic Ehrler, 65, a retired investor, befriended a goose that began following him around Echo Park ten months ago and she now meets him every day at 8 a.m., reports LA Times.
"When she first started following me around like a dog I got goose bumps," Ehrler said. "David Foster, one of the parks people here, finally introduced me to her. He said, 'You know you're being stalked! Her name is Maria.'"
Ever since then Maria greets Ehrler when he rides his bright red motor scooter down the hill from his Figueroa Terrace condo and then she leads him around the lake as Ehrler pulls out a bag of tortillas retrieved from a store trash bin and feeds the park's other geese.
Ehrler said Maria is very protective and will peck and bite at strangers who come too close to him. He said their daily encounters end with him riding off on his scooter and her following closely in the air until he circles back to the park and delays her with a fence.
Ehrler said he will follow Maria if the city follows through on plans to relocate her and the park's other geese while Echo Park is renovated.
Calcium is necessary for the growth and maintenance of strong teeth and bones, nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes. A deficiency in calcium can lead to numbness in fingers and toes, muscle cramps, convulsions, lethargy, loss of appetite, and abnormal heart rhythms. Conversley, excess calcium (particularly from supplements) can lead to kidney stones, calcification of soft tissue, and increased risk of vascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. The DV for calcium is 1000mg. Below is a list of high calcium foods, for more, see the extended list of calcium rich foods.
01. Dried Herbs
Although dried herbs are rarely used in large portions, adding in a few extra pinches to all your sauces, soups, and stews is a great way to get more calcium into your diet. Dried savory tops the list with 2132mg of calcium per 100g serving (213%DV), that is 85mg (9% DV) per tablespoon. It is followed by celery seed with 124mg (12%DV) of calcium per tablespoon, dried thyme with 57mg (6% DV) per tblsp, dried dill with 53mg (5% DV) per tblsp, dried marjoram with 40mg (4%DV) per tblsp, dried rosemary with 38mg (4% DV) per tblsp, sage, sisymbrium, oregano, spearmint, parsley, poppy seed, chervil and finally dried basil with 21mg of calcium (2% DV) per tablespoon.
The amount of calcium in cheese depends on type and variety and Parmesan is the highest with 1376mg of calcium per 100g serving (138% DV), or 386mg (38% DV) per ounce, and 69mg (7% DV) per tablespoon. It is followed by Romano with 298mg (30% DV) of calcium per ounce, Gruyere with 283mg (28% DV) per ounce, Mozzarella, Swiss, Cheddar, Hard Goat cheese, and finally Provolone with 212mg of calcium (21% DV) per ounce.
03. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds provide the most calcium when they are roasted or dried with 989mg (99% DV) of calcium per 100g serving, or 277mg (28%DV) per ounce, and 88mg (9% DV) per tablespoon. Sesame Butter (Tahini) provides about half the amount of calcium with 426mg (43%DV) of calcium per 100g serving, 119mg (12% DV) per ounce, and 64mg (6% DV) per tblsp.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The 20 Loneliest Outposts At the End of the World
When humanity's not trying to destroy itself, its steadily redefining its boundaries. Every passing year, we create further-flung outposts in places nature never intended to us to inhabit. Here are the loneliest places mankind has made its bed in search of the unknown, the overwhelming, and the great.
The Salomon August Andrée's Station at Danskøya, Svalbard, Norway, c1900
Photo: Library Of Congress
A Buddhist shrine at the Chang La pass, with an altitude of 5360m near Leh in Ladakh, India
The Tektite I habitat, an underwater laboratory, located in Great Lameshur Bay, Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1969
The work of French artist Fabien Mérelle involves creative combinations of dreams, experiences, and his early childhood imagination. He blurs the line between reality and fiction and his bio states: "Following the unrolling of a dream, playing with the free association of shapes and ideas, he seems to say that everything is transforming, metamorphing, opening itself to the most diverse interpretations."
Mérelle's complex works are small and he pays close attention to detail, two qualities that can be seen in this particular work, entitled Pentateuque. The piece is a whimsical sculpture that depicts a man, balancing the weight of an elephant on his back. It is made out of resin, paint, hair and fabric, and stands only 30 x 27 x 12 inches. The three dimensional form is a replica of the artist's original Pentateuch 2010 ink drawing, both of which visually interpret the phrase "carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders." Pentateuque was recently exhibited at the 2013 Art Stage Singapore international art fair, which took place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore earlier this month.
Most of the contents are published here were collected through email and Internet. I bear no responsibility for these contents.