Thursday, March 31, 2011

Amazing animal-Pangolin

A pangolin is a very rare mammal of tropical Africa.

Pangolin are shy and mainly solitary. They are well-armoured with large, hardened, equally-spaced overlapping scales, making them look like a pine cone. Pangolin know how to protect themselves very well when threatened, by rolling into a ball and erecting their scales pointing upward. The creatures eat ants and termites.

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Pangolin are thought to be magical - people believe the sight of one will bring them seven years of prosperity.

When caught by large predators such as lions they work their muscles into a cutting action to lacerate the mouths of their adversaries. The injuries caused can be serious for the animal attempting to eat the pangolin. Pangolin survive by using their sensitive tongues, which can grow up to 16 inches long, to probe ant nests and termite mounds to eat the insects inside.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Greatest historical myths-Magellan circumnavigated the world

Magellan circumnavigated the world

Everyone knows two things about Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. One, he was the first man to circumnavigate the world; and two, during this historic trip, he was killed by natives in the Philippines. Of course, those two things tend to contradict each other. Magellan only made it half-way around the world, leaving it to his second-in-command, Juan Sebastian Elcano, to complete the circumnavigation.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Amazing facts-Most dangerous road in the World

The North Yungas Road (also Grove’s Road, Coroico Road, Camino de las Yungas, El Camino de la Muerte, Road of Death, and Death Road) is a 61 to 69 km road (depending on source) leading from La Paz to Coroico, 56 km (35 miles) northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the “world’s most dangerous road”. One estimate is that 200-300 travelers were killed yearly along the road. The road includes crosses marking many of the spots where vehicles have fallen.

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A South Yungas Road (also Chulumani Road) exists that connects La Paz to Chulumani, 64 km (40 miles) east of La Paz, and is considered to be nearly as dangerous as the north road. The road was built in the 1930s during the Chaco War by Paraguayan prisoners. It is one of the few routes that connects the Amazon rainforest region of northern Bolivia, or Yungas, to its capital city. Upon leaving La Paz, the road first ascends to around 4,650 meters (15,256 ft) at La Cumbre Pass, before descending to 1,200 meters (3,937 ft) at the town of Coroico, transiting quickly from cool Altiplano terrain to rainforest as it winds through very steep hillsides and atop cliffs.

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Because of the extreme dropoffs of at least 600 meters (1,969 ft), single-lane width — most of the road no wider than 3.2 meters (10.5 ft) — and lack of guard rails, the road is extremely dangerous. Further still, rain and fog can make visibility precarious, and the road surface muddy, and can loosen rocks from the hillsides above. One of the local road rules specifies that the downhill driver never has the right of way and must move to the outer edge of the road. This forces fast vehicles to stop so that passing can be negotiated safely. Also, vehicles drive on the left, as opposed to the right like the rest of Bolivia. This gives the driver in a left-hand-drive vehicle a better view over their outside wheel, making passing safer.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Bizarre facts-Thaipusam festival

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival (celebrated mostly by Tamils) held in January/February each year to celebrate the birth of Murugan (the son of gods Shiva and Parvati). The participants shave their heads and perform a pilgrimage, at the end of which they shove very sharp skewers through their tongues or cheeks. Some of the practitioners put hooks into their back and pull heavy objects like tractors. The aim is to cause as much pain as possible - the more you endure, the more “blessings” you receive from the gods. The festival is popular in India, but the largest celebrations take place in Singapore and Malaysia, where it is a public holiday.


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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amazing pictures-Water tower

Every skyscraper in Chicago is a continuation of the story skyscrapers, which began for the city in 1885 with the construction of houses for home insurance (Home Insurance Building). "Tower" height of 42 meters (plus two floors were added in 1891, bringing the height to 50 meters) was the first building in the world, exceeding the level in the five floors. New Water Tower (Aqua Tower) - another mark on the map. Its height of 250 meters, is a unique sculptural facade of a building, creating the illusion of waves.


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Greatest historical myths-Walter Raleigh

Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes and tobacco to England

Sir Walter Raleigh - explorer, courtier, privateer - Is one of greatest myth figures ever to come from England. Virtually every reason for his fame is untrue. Was he handsome? According to written accounts, he was no oil painting - though somehow he charmed Queen Elizabeth I, and had a reputation as a ladies’ man. Did he lay his cloak across a puddle so that the Queen could step on it? No, that was pure fiction. Most importantly, he didn’t return from his visit to the New World (America) with England’s first potatoes and tobacco. Though Raleigh is said to have introduced potatoes in 1586, they were first grown in Italy in 1585, and quickly spread throughout Europe (even across the English Channel). Also, though people all over Europe blame Sir Walter for their cigarette addictions, Jean Nicot (for whom nicotine is named) introduced tobacco to France in 1560. Tobacco spread to England from France, not the New World.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Dark world-The Pearl Harbor Conspiracy

Advocates of this theory believe that that officials at the highest tiers in the US and British government, including the then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself, knew of the Japanese attacks ahead of time, may even have provoked them and took no countermeasures with the intent to ‘fool’ the German Führer Adolf Hitler into declaring war on America, forcing her to step in to assist the Allies.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interesting facts-Black Friday

Black Friday 2010

The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” in the USA. It traditionally begins the Christmas shopping season. On this day people can buy many specials with discounts thus they are eager to wait the whole night in below freezing temperature outside stores in order to be the first ones to get inside the door and grab gifts and presents at the lowest prices. A lot of Americans go shopping on “Black Friday”, one of the reasons it is named “black” is because of the long lines in the stores.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crabs

Volunteers sweep migrating red crabs off a road on Christmas Island. The migrating crabs face numerous hazards, such as traffic and predators, on their journeys, and many do not reach their destination.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amazing facts-The Phantom bike

When I first saw this bike, I thought that it must be an optical illusion. Olli Erkkila designed this unusual bike for his graduation project. It’s rather amazing!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Greatest historical myths-King John signed the Magna Carta

King John signed the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta (Great Charter) is known as a landmark in history, limiting the power of the King of England and sowing the seeds of democracy. Paintings show King John reluctantly signing the Magna Carta in a meadow at Runnymede in 1215. Fair enough, except for one thing. As well as being a rogue, John was probably illiterate. As anyone could see from looking at one of the four original Magna Cartas in existence, he simply provided the royal seal. No signature required.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Strange happenings-Horse in pool

Firefighters prepare to rescue a horse that fell into a swimming pool in Byfang, Essen, Germany. The rescue mission was a complete success and the horse was led away to a neighbour's indoor solarium to warm up

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Interesting facts-Luxury Christmas range

Six mothers launch Lidl's luxury Christmas range by recreating the Calendar Girls pose at Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Animal world-Lion cannot eat Pangolin

When you're a hungry lion, most animals probably seem like a good bet at snack time. But this lion certainly bit off more than it could chew when it pounced on a pangolin.

British wildlife guide Mark Sheridan-Johnson captured on film this inquisitive big cat which spent a long time trying to devour the odd looking creature in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. The rare, Armour plated pangolin had the perfect defence tactic:roll up into a ball and stay there - whatever happens.

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The images show how the hapless lion appeared confused by its spherical prey, as it batted the creature about with its paws and even tried to carry it around in its mouth.


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Mr Sheridan-Johnson, 31, from Newcastle, was showing a group of tourists around the game reserve when he spotted the little pangolin battling for its life. 'The pangolin is an extremely difficult animal to see and is considered by many guides in Africa to be the holy grail of sightings,' he said.

'You can spend your whole life driving round the bush and never see one. So when we came across one being attacked by a lion, we could not believe our eyes. '


'The pangolin was obviously having a really bad day.'

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Pangolins are nocturnal animals and according to Mark, this one was peacefully sheltering in bushes before being smelt out by the two-year-old lion.


'We were all on the side of the pangolin, hoping he would make it out alive,' he said.

'The lion really didn't know what to do with it. She was getting more and more frustrated by the situation.The scales are so sharp that carrying the pangolin around can't have been very pleasant.'
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The pangolin's shell is made of an organic bony structure called keratin and makes up to around twenty percent of the animal's body weight.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Amazing happenings-Giant Christmas tree

A worker decorates a 46-metre-high (151 feet) artificial Christmas tree in the centre of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Greatest historical myths-Napoleon was a little corporal

Napoleon was a little corporal

Some people believe that Napoleon’s domineeiring ambitions were to compensate for being so physically small. Not so. True, Napoleon was called Le Petit Corporal (”The Little Corporal”), but he was 5 feet, 7 inches tall - taller than the average eighteenth-century Frenchman. So why the nickname? Early in his military career, soldiers used it to mock his relatively low rank. The name stuck, even as he became ruler of France.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bizarre events-Purchasing car with small change

Employees at a car dealership in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, were left with the headache after a customer purchased a new 40,000 Yuan (£4,000) vehicle using a huge pile of small change. Together the payment weighed in at 100kg.


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Monday, March 14, 2011

Fascinating events-Miss Great Britain

Finalists in this year's Miss Great Britain beauty pageant brave temperatures of -2C as they gather for a photocall on the beach in front of Weston-Super-Mare's Grand Pier.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Greatest historical myths-Witches were burned at stake in Salem

Witches were burned at stake in Salem

The Salem (Massachusetts) witch trials of 1692 led to the arrests of 150 people, of whom 31 were tried and 20 were executed. But just as these trials were based on ignorance, there are many misconceptions about them. For starters, the 31 condemned “witches” were not all women. Six of them were men. Also, they were not burned at stake. As any witch-hunter would know, a true witch could never be killed by this method. Hanging was the usual method - though one was crushed to death under heavy stones.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Strange happenings-Apollo Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory

Apollo Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory


“Different Moon landing conspiracy theories claim that some or all elements of the Apollo Project and the associated Moon landings were falsifications staged by NASA and members of other organizations.” [via Wikipedia]. Advocates of certain theories believe that mock-up sets were used to film the landings.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Amazing facts-Losing 200 lbs (90 kg) In 18 Months

Losing 200 lbs (90 kg) In 18 Months

18 months ago Harriet Jenkins, 25, weighed 364 lbs (165 kg). But a lot has changed since then. Harriet has joined a slimming group and 18 months later she lost 10 dress sizes. She has reached 161 lbs (73 kg), perfect weight for her 5ft 8in height. Harriet got the teaching job she dreamed about, and was named Slimming World’s Woman of the Year.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Extraordinary talent-Saul Aaron Kripke

Saul Aaron Kripke: Invited to apply for a teaching post at Harvard while still in high school

A rabbi's son, Saul Aaron Kripke was born in New York and grew up in Omaha in 1940. By all accounts he was a true prodigy. In the fourth grade he discovered algebra, and by the end of grammar school he had mastered geometry and calculus and taken up philosophy. While still a teenager he wrote a series of papers that eventually transformed the study of modal logic. One of them earned a letter from the math department at Harvard, which hoped he would apply for a job until he wrote back and declined, explaining, œMy mother said that I should finish high school and go to college first. After finishing high school, the college he eventually chose was Harvard.

Kripke was awarded the Schock Prize, philosophy's equivalent of the Nobel. Nowadays, he is thought to be the world's greatest living philosopher.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Animal world-Monkey Buffet Festival

Every year the people of Lop Buri hold a party for the hundreds of macaques that live around the Khmer temple- Prang Sam Yot. The annual monkey festival takes place in the last weekend of November and is a major attraction for locals and tourists.

The monkeys have become such a part of the local life that the party is held to thank them for drawing tourism to the town. Prang Sam Yot temple in Lop Buri is 150km (94 miles) north of Bangkok, Thailand

Last year the monkeys got through around 2,000 kilograms of food provided by locals who believe donating the food will bring them good fortune.

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