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11 Interesting Facts about Tigers - Did You Know?

Posted By On 4:18 AM 0 comments

The tiger (part of the Felidae family) is a beautiful and majestic creature. Tigers are highly adaptable: they can be found in, from the Siberan taiga to the tropical mangrove swamps to grasslands.
1. Most tigers have more than 100 stripes, and no two tigers have the same stripes.

2. The roar of a tiger can be heard from over a mile away!

3. There are nine subspecies of tiger: the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Siberian tiger, and the South China tiger. There are also three extinct subspecies : Balinese, Javan and Caspian

3. The Siberian tiger (photo above) is the biggest of the nine subspecies [outlined above]. These beasts can reach an average head and body length of 190-230 centimetres (75-90 in). They can weigh up to 300 kilograms. Now that’s a beast!

4. A tiger marks its territory by spraying trees and bushes (contained inside the territory) with its urine, and also leaves deep scratches on tree trunks.

5. One averaged sized tiger can eat upto 60 pounds of meat at a single time!

6. A tiger’s canine teeth can grow up to three inches long, easily capable of crunching through the spine of any creature on Earth: like a warm knife through butter.

7. The tendons in a tiger’s leg are very strong: even after being shot dead, a tiger was known to have remained standing. That’s strength.

8. A tiger is diurnal, which means its peak times of activity are dawn and dusk.

9. A tiger eats around six kilos of meat per day, but can go as long as a week without a meal.

10. A tiger’s saliva is antiseptic, and comes handy when a tiger cleans its wounds.

11. A tiger’s striped coat is perfect for camouflage, among tall weeds and grass. Also, if you were to shave all the fur off a tiger’s skin, the stripes would still remain!

8 Amazing Bridges from Around the World

Posted By On 3:29 AM 1 comments
The following pictures of bridges around the world should be viewed with caution because they might cause serious travel fever. The bridges’ vital stats are not only amazing because they are the world’s tallest and longest; they also fulfill important environmental promises – cutting down traffic, shortening trade routes, connecting countries, or making car, train, bicycle or pedestrian travel not only faster but also so much more stylish!
1. The Magdeburg Water Bridge: 918 m long, 34 m wide and 4.25 m deep
At first glance, the Water Bridge in Magdeburg, Germany, seems nothing special; just another canal bridge. But look again and it’s a water bridge across water, forming a water intersection that is the biggest water crossing in Europe! The world’s largest water bridge, with a span of 106 m between its pillars, opened in October 2003, on the back of five years of construction, 24,000 tons of steel, and 68,000 m³ of reinforced concrete. Regaining the construction cost of €500 million probably won’t take long as the bridge shortens travel times for ships considerably and eases traffic on other routes. Before the opening of the water bridge, ships moving between the Midland Canal and the Elbe-Havel Canal had to make a 12-km detour through the Rothensee lock, along the River Elbe and back up Niegripp lock. Now the bridge connects Hannover and Berlin directly and also Berlin’s inland harbour network with the ports along the Rhine. A double lock was constructed to descend to the Elbe-Havel Canal and a single Rothensee lock was constructed at the other end of the water bridge to descend to the Elbe and the Magdeburg harbour, making it independent of water levels and therefore navigable even for large ships.

2. The Millau Viaduct in France: 2,460 m long, 32 m wide and 343 m high at the highest point
The Millau Viaduct in France is the world’s tallest vehicular bridge. In 2004, after 17 years of planning and work, it was finally completed and formed the missing link in the A75, connecting Paris and Perpignan. Cost: Euro 400 million, but that should be recovered fast at a cost of €3.09 for bicycles, €5.50 for cars and €27.50 for trucks (off season). However, according to the web site, the route saves more than one hour when travelling from Paris and almost €50 in tolls. The state-of-the art construction required 85,000 m3 of concrete and used the latest techniques like laser, GPS, sliders, self-climbing formwork, specific surface coats and high performance concrete.

3) The Oresundbridge from Denmark to Sweden, with the Danish islands Saltholm on the left and Peberholm on the right; on the horizon is Malmö
The Oresundbridge (official name: Øresundsförbindelsen) connecting Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden leaves one puzzled, as suddenly a 4-line highway and a 2-track railway seem to disappear into the sea. Is it a bridge? Is it a tunnel? It’s both, making it, what, maybe a brunnel or a tridge? In any case, it’s definitely the longest combined road-and-rail bridge in Europe. Plans for a bridge at this location had been in the works for the last hundred years but it was finally opened in July 2000, bringing Swedes and Danes closer together and increasing tourism. The bridge is 8 km long, plus there’s 4 km of tunnel and another 4 km of the man-made island Peberholm; altogether a stunning, 16-km-drive.

Here’s another stunning view of the Oresundbridge that makes it look like a ski ramp:
4) The Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam is 808 m long, cost €75 million to construct and was opened in September 1996
The Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam does not need to hide behind the Oresundbridge as it can boast a record of its own: its southern part is the largest and heaviest bascule bridge in Western Europe and has the largest panel of its type in the world, allowing tall ships to pass. The bridge is nicknamed “The Swan” because of its 139 m high asymmetrical pylon that overlooks the city like the graceful neck of a swan.

5) The Jadukata Bridge, the longest span cantilever bridge in India with a central span of 140 m, stretches so naturally from one shore to the other that it seems to grow out of the rich vegetation itself
Leaving Europe to move further east, we come to the Indian Jadukata Bridge in Ranikor in the West Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya, 130 km from its capital, Shillong. This bridge over the Jadukata river is close to the Indo-Bangladesh border and therefore a vital link on an important road in this border state. Even cost wise, compared to the other bridges featured here, it is a lightweight at €1.5 million.

6) The Sutong Bridge in China is a cable-stayed bridge with the world’s longest main span (1,088 m); its overall length is 8,206 m and the two bridge towers are the world’s second tallest at 306 m
Moving further east, here’s the Sutong Bridge that spans the Yangtze River and connects Sutong (Suzhou) and Nantong in China. It shortens the commute from Shanghai to Nantong, making ferry service superfluous and heightening Nantong’s importance as part of the Yangtze River Delta economic zone. The opening of the bridge in May 2008 has brought foreign investments to the city and spurned the development of poorer northern Jiangsu regions. No wonder, with a status project that cost €1.3 billion.

7) The Akashi Bridge in Japan is the world’s longest suspension bridge with a total length of 3,911 m and contains a 6-lane highway
Moving yet further east, we reach the Akashi Bridge (also Akashi-Kaikyo or Pearl Bridge) in Kobe, Japan. With a centre span of 1,991 m, it is the world’s longest suspension bridge and links Kobe with the mainland of Honshu. Since the bridge’s opening in 1998, crossing the Akashi Strait has become much safer as the bridge has been built to withstand strong winds, sea currents and earthquakes. Before then, passengers used to rely on ferries that were prone to accidents due to severe storms in the region.

8) Sundial Bridge in Redding, California is a pedestrian bridge, 213 m long and 7 m wide; it is stretched precisely from south to north, making the bridge a functioning sundial
Last but not least, moving yet further east around the globe, we reach a humble walking bridge in Redding, California. The stylish Sundial Bridge across the Sacramento River is a glass-bottom bridge that connects a network of walking and biking trails. The requirement before planning the bridge was that it could not cast too much shadow over the river as Turtle Bay happens to be one of the best salmon spawning places in California. Therefore, the design is light and airy. Opened in July 2004, the bridge’s construction cost €17.4 million.

For all those inspired by these beautiful bridges around the world, there is good news: most of the bridges portrayed have their own web sites (brochures are so 20th century) with lots more information and virtual tours.

Patrick Dougherty’s Incredible Nest Houses

Posted By On 11:32 AM 0 comments

If hobbits didn’t live under hills, they might like this homey structure that seems to fit
right into its surroundings. It calls forth visions of a simpler world in keeping with nature and is one of sculptor Patrick Dougherty’s 150 amazing twig art installations that have sprung up all around the world to the wonderment of passersby since 1982.

Says curator Linda Johnson:

“Dougherty’s works allude to nests, cocoons, hives, and lairs built by animals, as well as the manmade forms of huts, haystacks, and baskets, created by interweaving branches and twigs together. Many of his works look ‘found’ rather than made, as if they were created by the natural force of a tornado sweeping across the landscape. He intentionally tries for this effortless effect, as if his creations just fell or grew up naturally in their settings.”

Be prepared to transport yourself to another world.

Na Hale ‘o waiawi (translated from Hawaiian to more or less mean ‘wild dwellings built from strawberry guava’

This one looks like an elven dwelling nestled in a protective mountain range:

With the pull of a twig or the whisper of a magical phrase, these ‘buildings’ might lead you into another realm:

And these look like comfy places to rest your head after a long day’s hike:

New Worlds Tallest Man

Posted By On 11:18 AM 0 comments
Measuring a towering 8 inches taller than the previous record holder, Bao Xishun at seven feet nine inches, Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk has now officially become the world’s tallest man standing at 8 feet 5 inches tall.

Previously, the 37 year-old former veterinarian has always refused to be officially measured for the Guinness Book of Records as he detests his height and didn’t want the fame and notoriety.

Leonid Stadnyk, from the small village of Podoliantsi, Ukraine describes his height as ‘God’s biggest punishment for me’ and refuses to look in a mirror.

Leonid’s first years 14 years of life were rather contrary to his lofty present height — in fact, his nickname in school was ‘titch’ due to his short stature, being one of the smallest boys in his class.

At the age of 14 he underwent an astonishing growth spurt after surgery on a benign brain tumor which stimulated his pituitary gland, which is responsible for stimulating the production and overproduction of growth hormones.

The condition is known as acromegalic gigantism. Leonid Stadnyk went through a growth spurt of 12 inches within two years, reports

Forced to sleep on two beds joined together lengthwise, Leonid weighs about 450 pounds, has 17 inch feet, and gargantuan palms measuring more than a foot in diameter.

Despite determined attempts by the Guinness Book of Records to officially measure him for the past three years, Stadnyk had always refused until he met London growth expert, Professor Michael Besser from the London Clinic Centre for Endocrinology.

Besser was surprised to find that the brain tumor which had haunted Stadnyk for more than 20 years had naturally died off, saving Stadnyk’s life and putting an end his peculiar growth spurt.

Professor Besser’s discovery was filmed for a documentary on the Discovery Channel in December last year. The revelation led exposure to the world of his amazing height after it was measured officially in Kiev.

Stadnyk has been added to the record books in America, but the 2008 Guinness Book of Records won’t be published in the UK until September 28 2007.

Leonid Stadnyk currently lives with his mother in a confined 3-room, one-storey home in Ukraine where he has to contort his frame to enter through a doorway.

Leonid was forced to quit working on a cattle farm six years ago after his feet became frostbitten when he couldn’t afford to buy a pair of specially crafted size 27 shoes which cost $200 — the equivalent of seven months’ worth of his pension — for his enormous feet.

Professor Besser said, “He doesn’t want to be famous. He lives like a hermit and he says he has done nothing to court fame and wants nothing to do with the Guinness Book of Records. His recovery from the tumor has been remarkable.”

The former record holder Bao Xishun was recognized as the world’s tallest man last year, beating the previous record holder, Radhouane Charbib of Tunisia, by a mere 2 millimeters.

The tallest man ever was American Robert Pershing Wadlow, born in Alton, Illinois on February 22 1918, last measured at 8 feet 11.1 inches tall on June 27 1940.

Leonid Stadnik Tallest Man in the World
This news cast is in Deutsch. (Thanks to Sidzilla for correcting me. ) If an English one becomes available I’ll update this post.

Bloukrans Bridge Jumping From Heaven Straight To Hell

Posted By On 8:26 AM 0 comments

Here is a chance to fuel your excitement from a height of 216 meters! Fling yourself in air and experience the thrill of falling down at great speed. This is no gimmick, but truth that lies at the Boukrans Bridge. It is the coolest place on earth, and has etched its mark in the Guinness Books of World Records for being the world’s highest commercial bungy jumping venue.

You can have access to the jump point, situated on top of the arch, which is via a specially designed walkway underneath the road deck. While strolling on the walkway, you can have the splendid view of the natural splendor surrounding the bridge. The jump allows you to swing like a pendulum and ensures the longest and smoothest ride in the world.

Just 40 kilometers east of Plettenburg Bay along the N2 highway, the Boukrans bridge is situated at the Tsitsikamma Forest Village market, South Africa. While on your way to the magnificent bridge, you can bask in the splendor of Garden route and the breathtaking surrounding.

The bungy jumping fraternity was very much excited when the Bloukrans bridge bungy jump was inaugurated. Till, date the bridge has witnessed thousands of brave hearts from all round the world.

The amazing ice graffiti found after a freezing cold night

Posted By On 1:01 AM 0 comments
Jack Frost has a decidedly mischievous streak in his character, it seems.For when Robert Baker went outside on Wednesday morning, he found his car had been sprayed with dramatic ice graffiti.Frost had tagged the windscreen and roof with the characteristic fronds and swirls of fern frost, which forms during the coldest nights.
'I couldn't believe what I saw,' said Mr Baker, 76, who had intended to defrost his wife's Rover 45, in Folkestone, Kent. 'I called to my wife Julie to have a look.'The pattern was one bit of graffiti he didn't mind seeing. 'Usually I would have defrosted the vehicle fairly quickly but the ice formations were stunning,' he said.'They didn't last long - they were gone as soon as the sun came out.'
It appears the ice artists were out in force.In Oxfordshire, Stuart Dent found similar patterns on his Jaguar.Car windows and paintwork are good heat conductors and water droplets often form in very cold weather.Tiny imperfections such as scratches and dust influence their arrangement, so when they freeze, they form beautiful patterns.

When Bodybuilding and Steroids Go Too Far

Posted By On 10:55 AM 4 comments

Right or more often the case wrong, athletes have been taking anabolic steroids since the early 1960’s. Many competitive bodybuilders go to excess in taking steroids in order to compete citing that ‘extreme sports require extreme measures,’ using a plethora of various forms for different effects — one might increase muscle hardness while another will improve mass, strength or endurance — thus becoming human walking chemistry sets.

Synthetic anabolic steroids are potent medications designed to mimic the function of testosterone which can even perform better at promoting muscle growth than equivalent levels of testosterone.

Often coined as being juiced or juiced up amongst those who use the drugs, some say “steroids are as American as Apple Pie.”

Hazards of Steroids for Men and Women
While it’s not as common to suffer critical or life-threatening effects, steroids are far from safe, causing potentially harmful side-effects with some being irreversible.

Both genders can experience increased acne on the face, chest and back.

Depending on the drug, anabolic steroids can cause a person’s behavior can change with increased aggression and irritability. Some of this aggression has caused people to commit armed robbery, use force to obtain something, and physical fighting. This would not happen to a naturally calm person but someone who is naturally aggressive would become more aggressive by taking steroids.

Anabolic steroids have also been known to cause behavioral effects including euphoria, increased energy, sexual arousal, mood swings, distractibility, forgetfulness, and confusion.

Bad side-effects on blood pressure and the cardiovascular system can cause heart attacks, enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle and people younger than 30 to develop Cardiovascular disease.

Blood chemistry can change causing blood clots in the blood vessels and potentially disrupt the blood flow, damaging the heart muscle so it doesn’t pump blood effectively. Heart disease can develop because it affects the cholesterol levels — over a period of time the cholesterol builds up and clogs the arteries. Steroids affect the heart only if you have a heart disease to begin with, so it’s very wise to stay away from them if you have a heart problem.

Anabolic steroids are especially dangerous for teenagers, interfering with the normal effect of hormones on a growing body, and premature development of the epiphysis — the end of the bone — resulting in stunted growth.

Steroids can be taken orally, by injection, with gels, patches and nasal sprays. For the squeamish afraid of needles, it’s not possible to get a doctor to inject you since steroids are illegal, so some resort to the oral method which has the greatest number of side effects.

They have to pass through the digestive system and the liver in order to get into the bloodstream, so they’re designed to survive the process, and require large amounts to ensure that there’s enough left afterwards to have an effect.

The liver’s job is to remove such substances from the body which puts a great deal of strain on the liver and can result in significant liver damage and tumors which in turn can cause internal bleeding.

Some oral steroids can cause stomach distention — the lower abdomen becomes irritated and swollen, you can experience chronic constipation, water retention, and intestinal gas — the latter of which is not pretty if you want to keep your friends.
Taken in high doses, steroids can also develop jaundice, peliosis hepatitis, and cancer.

Injected steroids are put directly into the blood stream, making them far easier on your liver, but there is much concern over safe injection practices.

Depression is further aggravated if and when steroid use stops with rebound causing extreme depression, fatigue, apathy, and the likes.

Steroid Hazards for Men
Men can experience a short-term increase in the sex drive, followed by a suppression of natural testosterone output and potential shrinkage of the testes.

They can lower sperm count thus making men infertile, as well as develop gynecomastia — deposits of estrogen in the area of the nipple which can also grow breasts.

Steroid Hazards for Women
A very dangerous irreversible side-effect for women is masculinization due to the effects of testosterone and androsterone, including deepening of the voice, menstrual irregularities, development of facial and back hair, clitoral enlargement and even male-pattern baldness.

As one man reported to BodyBuilding of his former 3-year relationship with a woman who used steroids, “After my girlfriend made her decision to juice it up, with me as an up-close personal witness to all of her transformations during this time, it changed my mind about women on the juice forever. I saw her go from a hot hard body to a bloated, mental mess.” says Josh.

“My girlfriends’ skin became course and dry; a lot of her hair fell out while it grew on her face, her chest, and down her butt; her voice dropped three octaves; her nose grew; her jaw widened; she got spaces between her teeth; she got acne all over her chest, across her shoulders, and down her back, and she stopped having her period.”

Rampant hair growth is an irreversible side-effect, sprouting up on the chin, chest, around the nipples, and the buttocks — particularly the lower inner glutes and around the anus.

“The first thing you’ll notice if you take up with a juiced chick is her heightened level of aggression. When a woman’s aggression is initiated by testosterone, the result can sometimes get ugly.”

In another irreversible side effect of clitoral enlargement from androgen use, he saw his girlfriend’s grow to be 2 inches long and as big around as his small finger. When a woman in this condition becomes aroused, her clitoris becomes erect and sticks out just like a man’s penis, complete with a little head and all.

While the condition isn’t harmful, many women get vaginal discharge, but it will cease once the drugs are stopped.

Another bothersome yet temporary condition for the juiced up woman is the increase of body odor. Josh recalls lying in bed nestled in each other’s arms after some particularly torrid sex that made him wonder if he was sharing the bed with an entire soccer team after a world championship.

Honorable mention goes out to champion female bodybuilder, Lenda Murray, from the US, as the world’s most successful female bodybuilder to date — an 8-time winner of the Ms. Olympia title, the highest achievement in professional female bodybuilding.

The Wrap-up on Steroids
Unlike training for other sports, the goal in bodybuilding is to achieve a certain appearance. For competitive bodybuilders, strength itself is not as important as size, symmetry and definition.

Steroids do give the advantage over other athletes as it helps to train with a higher intensity and for longer periods, and can speed up recovery time for the stress on the muscles.

A popular way to take steroids is by cycling, starting the dosage at very small amounts and increasing the dosage weekly, then decreasing it over a 6 to12 week period. Bodybuilders then train without the drugs for 4 weeks and repeat the cycle all over again.

Perhaps the worst mistake most steroid users make is to become steroid abusers. It’s very common to overuse steroids which results in a wide range of health problems, some of which you will be living with for life.

It’s critical when considering taking steroids to do as much research as possible.
Special thanks to my friend Rick for the inspiration by sending some of the photos.

Cool Airbus landed on the Hudson River and saved 155 lives

Posted By On 11:00 AM 0 comments


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