Ten Longest Bridges In World – Amazing

September 4, 2008 at 7:42 am | Posted in America, dubai, entertainment, History, hotels, India, Information, New Zealand, seven new wonders, tourism, Travel, USA, World | 5 Comments
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Ten Longest Bridges In World
Here is a list of the then longest bridges in the world with pictures and descriptions. Those beautiful photos are showing to us that there are no borders and everything is reachable.

10. Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge, in the Florida Keys, runs over a channel between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait, connecting Key Vaca (the location of the city if 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.

9. San Mateo-Hayward Bridge

The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge (commonly called San Mateo Bridge) is a bridge crossing California’s San Francisco Bay in the United states, linking the San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. More specifically, the bridge’s western end is in Foster City, the most recent urban addition to the eastern edge of San mateo. The eastern end of the bridge is in Hayward. The bridge is owned by the state of California, and is maintained by Caltrans, the state highway agency.

8. Confedration Bridge

The Confederation Bridge (French: Pont de la Confederation) is a bridge spanning the Abegweit Passage of Northumberland Starit, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunkswick, Canada. It was commonly referred to as the “Fixed Link” by residents of Prince Edward Island prior to its official naming. Construction took place from all the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1997, costing $1.3 billion. The 12.9 kilometre (8 mile) long bridge opened on 31 May 1997.

7. Rio-Niteroi Bridge

The Rio-Niteroi Bridge is a reinforced concrete structure that connects the cities of Rio de Janerio and Niteroi in Brazil. Construction began symbolically on August 23, 1968, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in their first and thus far only visit to Brazil. Actual work begun in January, 1969, and it opened on March 4, 1974. Its official name is “President Costa e Silva Bridge”, in honor of the Brazilian president who ordered its construction. “Rio-Niteroi” started as a descriptive nickname that soon became better known than the official name. Today, hardly anyone referes to it by its oficial name.

6. Penang Bridge

The Penang Bridge (jambatan Pulau Pinang in Malay) E 36 is a dual-carriageway toll bridge that connects Gelugor on the island of Penang and Seberang Prai on the mainland of Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula. The bridge is also linked to the Norht-South Expressway in Prai and Jelutong Expressway in Penang. It was officially opened to traffic on September 14, 1085. The total length of the bridge is 13..5 (8.4 miles), making it among the longest bridges in the world, the longest bridge in the country as well as a national landmark. PLUS Expressway Berhad is the concession holder which manages it.

5. Vasco da Gama Bridge

The Vasco da Gama Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Vasco da Gama, pron is a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and roads that spans the Tagus River near Lisbon, capital of Portual. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 miles), including 0.829 km (0.5 miles) for the main bridge, 11.5 kms (7.1 miles) in viaducts, and 4.8 km (3.0 miles) in dedicated access roads. Its purpose is to alleviate the congeston on Lisbon’s other bridge (25 de Abril Bridge), and to join previously unconnected motorways radiating from Lisbon.

4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (commonly known as the Bay Bridge) is a major dual-span bridge in the US State of Maryland; spanning the Chesapeake Bay, it connects the state’s Eastern and Western Shore regions. At 4.3 miles (7km) in length, the original span was the world’s longest continous over-water steel structure when it opened in 1952. The bridge is officially named the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge after William Preston Lane, Jr. who, as governor of Maryland, implemented its construction.

3. King Fahd Causeway

The King Fahd Causeway is multiple dike-bridge combination connecting Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and the island nation of Bahrain. A construction agreement signed on July 8, 1981 by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and Sheikh Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa of Bharain; construction continued until 1986, when the coombination of sevral bridges and dams were completed. The causeway officially opened for use on November 25, 1986.

2. Donghai Bridge

Donghai Bridge (literally “East Sea Grand Bridge”) is the longest cross-sea bridge in the world and the longest bridge in Asia. It was completed on December 10, 2005. It has a total length of 32.5 kilometers (20.2 miles) and connects Shanghai and the offshore Yangshan deep-water port in China. Most of the bridge is a low-level viaduct. There are also cable-stayed sections to allow for the passage of large ships, largest with span of 420 m.

1. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, or the Causeway, consists of two parallel bridges that are the longest bridges in the world by total length. These parallel bridges cross Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana. The longer of the two bridges is 23.87 miles (38.42 km) long. The bridges are supported by over 9,000 concrete 8 miles (13 kms) south of the north shore. The southern terminus of the Causeway is in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The northern terminus is at Mandeville, Louisiana.

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Volcanoes in Our Times

August 27, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Posted in America, Cave of Swallows, dubai, entertainment, History, Information, New Zealand, tourism, Travel, USA, World | 3 Comments
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Tavurvur, Papua New Guinea
Eruption: 2006
This active volcano, seen here in a photograph taken from the International Space Station, sits in Alaska’s central Aleutian Islands.
Chaiten, Chile
Chaiten, Chile

Eruption : 2008
After 9,000 years of inactivity, this Chilean caldera exploded in May, 2008, forcing the evacuation of Chaitén Town and the surrounding regions. Tavurvur, Papua New GuineaTavurvur, Papua New Guinea Eruption : 2006Evacuated Matapit Islanders watch Tavurvur spew ash and rocks over the city of Rabaul, which has endured repeated eruptions over the last 70 years. In 1994, the provincial government was forced to relocate to a new capital as a result of the blasts.Mt. Cleveland, USA.

 

Valley of Flowers

August 27, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in America, Cave of Swallows, Dam Dropping, dubai, entertainment, History, hotels, Information, New Zealand, tourism, Travel, World | Leave a comment
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Location : On the upper expansions of Bhyundar Ganga in the state of Uttranchal in the northern part of India.
Time to Visit : From mid July to mid of August. The valley can be visited only during the day and overnight stay is prohibited.
Weather : Salubrious and Pleasant.
Known For : The Rich Biological Resource.

The Valley Of Flowers

Valley Of flowers
Valley Of flowers

Discovered by Frank S. Smith, an English mountaineer explorer and Botanist, while on an expedition to Mt. Kamet, the Valley of Flowers is a Nature’s Gift to Man. The Valley of Flowers in the north Indian state of Uttranchal is a booming bouquet of beautiful, lively and multihued flowers. The Valley of Flowers National Park, spanning over an area of 87.5 sq km has the largest potpourri of wild flower species. Known to the inhabitants as the Bhyundar valley, the Valley of Flowers is hidden from the scrutinizing eyes of the civilization. The valley was declared a National Park in year 1982.

The Valley of Flowers is also associate with the legendary story, which says that this the area from where Hanumanji of Ramayana collected ‘Sanjeevani’ herb to revive Lakshman. The Valley of Flowers National Park starts from Ghangharia but the main valley starts after crossing the gorge and the stream originating from Nar Parvat, 3 km from Ghangharia. In front of the Valley stands the snow capped peak of Ratban Parvat and at the background is the Kunt Khal. Towards the left is Nar Parvat, which bisects the Badrinath valley from this valley, and to the right is thick Birch forest on the hill sides. Below the forest is the meadow. River Pushpavati flows through the valley and there are many waterfalls enhancing the beauty of the valley. The splendour and the dazzling beauty of the valley beckons tourists from all the corners of the world.

Eco-Tourism in Valley of Flowers – Uttaranchal
Valley of Flowers’ Wildlife Resource

Almost 300 species of wild flowers bloom here in natural way. The bloom starts immediately after the melting of snow but the peak blooming period is from mid July to mid of August. The abundant natural resource of the valley captivates a large number of nature lovers, environmentalists and tourists every year.

The wild flowers like the Himalayan blue poppy, daisy, dianthus, calendula, white and yellow anemones bloom & swing with life during the monsoons. Some other species are Anemone, Geranium, Marsh marigold, Prinula, Potentilla, Geum, Asters, Lilium, Ranunculus, Corydalis, Inula, Braham kamal, Campanula, Pedicularis, Arisaema, Morina, Impatiens, Bistorta, Ligularia, Anaphalis, Saxifrages, Sibbaldia, Thermopsis, Trollius, Codonopsis, Dactylorhiza, Cypripedium, Strawberry, Epilobium, Rhododendrons and numerous others. Most of the flowers have medicinal values too. The abundance of Asmanda fern in this valley is a rare sight than in other Himalayan valleys. The valley remains in bloom for three months while the floral arrangement keeps on changing every few days. By September the hue of the Valley starts changing and autumn bids farewell to flowers and the entire vegetation remains resting continuously for next five months when the valley is snow wrapped.
Apart from the flowers some species of Butterfly, Musk deer, Blue sheep (Bharal), Himalayan bear, Himalayan mouse hare and some Himalayan birds & Snow leopard are also found in this area. To conserve the nature’s beneficient gift and to maintain the natural balance of the valley.
Reaching the Valley of Flowers
Air :
The nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 319 km.
Rail : The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, 302 km.
Road : Off the Rishikesh-Badrinath road, 17 km from Govindghat. (25 km from Badrinath). From Govindghat the distance has to be trekked. Bus services are available to Govindghat. Porters are available at Govindghat and Ghangharia.

World’s Oldest Living Tree – 9550 years old – Discovered In Sweden

August 26, 2008 at 6:58 am | Posted in entertainment, History, hotels, Information, New Zealand, tourism, Travel, World | 4 Comments
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The world’s oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden. The spruce tree has shown to be a tenacious survivor that has endured by growing between erect trees and smaller bushes in pace with the dramatic climate changes over time.

Worlds Oldest Tree

Worlds Oldest Tree

This 9,550 year old spruce has been discovered in Dalarna, Sweden. A favourable climate has produced an upright trunk since the beginning of the 1940s.

For many years the spruce tree has been regarded as a relative newcomer in the Swedish mountain region. “Our results have shown the complete opposite, that the spruce is one of the oldest known trees in the mountain range,” says Leif Kullman, Professor of Physical Geography at Umeå University.

A fascinating discovery was made under the crown of a spruce in Fulu Mountain in Dalarna. Scientists found four “generations” of spruce remains in the form of cones and wood produced from the highest grounds.

The discovery showed trees of 375, 5,660, 9,000 and 9,550 years old and everything displayed clear signs that they have the same genetic makeup as the trees above them. Since spruce trees can multiply with root penetrating braches, they can produce exact copies, or clones.

The tree now growing above the finding place and the wood pieces dating 9,550 years have the same genetic material. The actual has been tested by carbon-14 dating at a laboratory in Miami, Florida, USA.

Previously, pine trees in North America have been cited as the oldest at 4,000 to 5,000 years old.

In the Swedish mountains, from Lapland in the North to Dalarna in the South, scientists have found a cluster of around 20 spruces that are over 8,000 years old.

Although summers have been colder over the past 10,000 years, these trees have survived harsh weather conditions due to their ability to push out another trunk as the other one died. “The average increase in temperature during the summers over the past hundred years has risen one degree in the mountain areas,” explains Leif Kullman.

Therefore, we can now see that these spruces have begun to straighten themselves out. There is also evidence that spruces are the species that can best give us insight about climate change.

The ability of spruces to survive harsh conditions also presents other questions for researchers.

Have the spruces actually migrated here during the Ice Age as seeds from the east 1,000 kilometres over the inland ice that that then covered Scandinavia? Do they really originate from the east, as taught in schools? “My research indicates that spruces have spent winters in places west or southwest of Norway where the climate was not as harsh in order to later quickly spread northerly along the ice-free coastal strip,” says Leif Kullman.

“In some way they have also successfully found their way to the Swedish mountains.”

The study has been carried out in cooperation with the County Administrative Boards in Jämtland and Dalarna.

– Shantan Nethikar

Inhaling 9/11

August 22, 2008 at 10:41 am | Posted in 9/11, 9/11 blast, 9/11 september, America, entertainment, History, Information, New Zealand, tourism, Travel, USA, World | 1 Comment
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[Image: The South Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11; photographer unknown].

On the flight over to Chicago last week I read an intense and frightening article in Discover about the wide range of post-9/11 illnesses that have begun to develop in New York City.
As most people no doubt know, tens upons tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of people literally inhaled the World Trade Center towers in the collapse and aftermath of 9/11.
It was the malign aerosolization of late modernist architecture, producing “the most dangerous atmospheric conditions ever to occur on American soil.”
The “sky was glittering with glass” that day:

    A toxic cloud composed of industrial waste and human remains crept out from the aching, smoldering pit at Ground Zero and wound its way into the adjoining streets. Its vapors circled around and up buildings, pumped in and out of nostrils, mouths, and lungs, and stung the eyes of every woman, child, man, bird, and beast within a wide range. It spread itself on building walls and inside boiler rooms and left its trail on parked cars, handrails, and public benches. That day, New York City was blinded by a perpetually sickening haze. It poisoned the minds of politicians who acted with hubris and paranoia. It obscured the vision of responders and residents, many of whom acted with heroism and reckless bravado, never thinking that their actions might be endangering themselves, their families, their cities, and their very future. The cloud billowed southward, over the river, enveloping everything in the dust and debris of blown-apart lives.

Breathing this “toxic cloud” has led to people coughing up “brown and pinkish-bloody” clots of tissue; it has led to organ failure; and the article even introduces us to a man who, five years later, “started bleeding everywhere – out of my ears, mouth, penis, and anus, and none of the doctors could figure out why.”
Indeed, the “number of seriously ill New Yorkers could climb to 300,000 in the near future,” and these serious illnesses run the gamut from “internal chemical burns” and “chronic respiratory and gastrointestinal conditions,” many of which will be fatal, to “rare blood cancers” and asthma attacks.

[Image: “Within a few hours’ time, a person exposed to the fumes could ingest toxins that would otherwise take a year to accumulate in a typical environment”; photographer unknown].
None of which seems surprising when you read about what actually went up in the air that day:

    The Twin Towers contained tens of thousands of computer terminals, each housing about four pounds of lead, and an untold number of fluorescent bulbs that contained mercury. Released metal particles from the smoldering pit of the World Trade Center were so fine that they could easily slip past a paper face mask and reach deep into lung tissue, where they are poorly soluble in lung fluid. Metals and glass can remain trapped there for long periods of time and make their way into the heart.

It’s also important to note, for my voting American readers, that the leadership of Rudy Giuliani does not fare very well in this article.

After much more detail about both the “plume” itself and about the various environmental failures that occurred up and down the political chain of command, the article ends magnificently: “While the courts try to determine who is responsible for the environmental debacle following 9/11, countless New Yorkers continue to live and work near Lower Manhattan with the assumption that it is safe. The dust is now out of sight, out of mind, and possibly in their lungs, hearts, and bloodstreams.”
So this is what happens when you pulverize and burn modern architecture: plumes of cadmium, thallium, benzene, silver, zinc, osmium, carbon monoxide, sulfuric acid, nickel, and lead drift outward into the city, snowing invisibly into local waterways, settling on windowsills and dusting the floors of homes, shops, and offices, salting food on plates at outdoor cafes, entering bloodstreams and sticking to clothes. Fiberglass and fire retardants, arsenic and rubber – asbestos, soot, and paper – all enter the atmosphere and form undetectable weather systems too vaporous and ghostlike to track.
Which leads me to wonder about what sort of post-bombardment aerial conditions existed in cities like Dresden or Hiroshima, after they were destroyed in World War II, when architecture was not made from such things – when there were not home computers and circuitboards to burn and when homes weren’t full of flame retardant fabrics and PVC.


Were different and earlier forms of pulverized architecture somehow safer to breathe?
In fact, if I can be excused a brief moment of contextually inappropriate speculation, would it be possible to impregnate buildings with good things – with good chemicals: with vitamins and medicines and even seeds – so that future 9/11s release beneficial plumes and so that the inhalation of architectural smoke is no longer catastrophic?
Or would that just encourage terrorist attacks, arson, and urban warfare?
In any case, the article in Discover is well worth a half-hour or so of your time – especially if you lived or worked in lower Manhattan or Brooklyn during the weeks after 9/11.

– Shantan Nethikar

Thrills of a Sling shot ride!

August 22, 2008 at 10:06 am | Posted in Base Jumping, Dam Dropping, entertainment, History, Information, New Zealand, The Kawarau Bridge Bungee, tourism, Travel, World, Zorbing | Leave a comment
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This ride, called the Slingshot, is similar to bungee jumping, but the gondola where riders sit is flung into the air, rather than being dropped off a bridge attached to a giant rubber band.

Slingshots, Image credit

There are two polls that stand up 145 feet into the air and the person is hurled using steel cables and springs. The gondola has lights on it, so at night onlookers can see the thing shooting into the air.

The Slingshot propels riders between two poles. Here the cables suspend Roy Ross and Matt Ward.

The ride is a family affair, Colby Barendregt and his family own tow Slingshots and travel around the country about nine months of the year. Setting the ride at fairs.

Roy Ross and Matt Ward are launched on the Hot Shot Slingshot ride at the Silver Dollar Fair

Its like being launched 220 to 240 feet into the air at up to 6 G’s! In the age of space travel this is the closest thing to a rocket ship that most people will ever get.

Quench your thirst for thrill in New Zealand!

August 22, 2008 at 10:01 am | Posted in Base Jumping, Cave of Swallows, Dam Dropping, entertainment, FlyByWire, History, hotels, Information, New Zealand, The Kawarau Bridge Bungee, tourism, Travel, World, Zorbing | Leave a comment
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New Zealand is just the right place for those who have thirst for thrills and adventure. The activities out here are wide ranging, from some of the world’s best skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding, to adventure activities such as bungee jumping, flybywire, dam dropping and zorbing.

The Kawarau Bridge Bungee:

Some people call it crazy, but enough find it exciting. The Kawarau Bridge Bungee is the first commercial bungee site in the world. Located a few miles outside Queenstown, it is set in a picturesque valley overlooking the Kawarau River. It’s the only bungee where you can choose to bob above the water, touch it or be fully immersed. No trip to Queenstown in New Zealand would be complete without at least considering a bungee jump!

Flybywire:

With a top recorded speed of over 170 kph, FlyByWire is said to be the fastest adventure flight in the world. FlyByWire is a self-drive flying machine which is built of premium grade aircraft material using state-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques and is powered by a 60 hp aircraft engine. You experience a force of three G’s to weightlessness within a three second interval as it accelerates you.

 

Image Credit

The machine is suspended from an overhead cable system, which allows it to fly in circles within a spectacular steep-sided canyon. The flight lasts 6 minutes.

Dam Dropping:

Dam Dropping is a form of river surfing, commonly know as river sledging. Through some of New Zealand’s most picturesque river scenery, down the Waingongoro River, under the shadow of Mount Taranaki in New Plymouth, it’s an experience of a lifetime.

Zorbing:

Ever wondered what it would feel like to get inside your washing machine on a spin cycle? Try Zorbing! New Zealand offers the opportunity to have a go at zorbing which is a unique, exciting, downhill, adventure experience. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages who don’t mind being strapped inside an enormous clear plastic, air-cushioned ball.

 

Image Credit

As all the violent bouncing is absorbed by the bigger outer transparent ball, you are quite secure inside the inner capsule. As the ball rolls down a long grass-covered slope, you spin around in a virtual anti-gravity form of weightlessness like an intoxicated space traveler. Liquid-zorbing is a more recent development of this zany downhill roller coaster ride. Two or three buckets of water are added to the mix and you remain unattached to the inner ball like a loose cannon tumbling out of control. Grab the chance to zorb, wet or dry!

– Shantan Nethikar

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