Get widget


All kinds of news around the world in one place!


Explore with us and enjoy in that!


Start with us a journey through world of knowledge!


The world is beautiful. Let's peek into some magnificent places, and see what they offer!


Fun - because we have the right to be happy!


Our life is adventure. Enjoy in every moment of that!

TOP 10

Amazing lists of incredible things!

'Goldilocks' planet

Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.
Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere.
It's just right. Just like Earth.
"This really is the first Goldilocks planet," said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars.
Finding a planet that could potentially support life is a major step toward answering the timeless question: Are we alone?
Scientists have jumped the gun before on proclaiming that planets outside our solar system were habitable only to have them turn out to be not quite so conducive to life. But this one is so clearly in the right zone that five outside astronomers told The Associated Press it seems to be the real thing.
"This is the first one I'm truly excited about," said Penn State University's Jim Kasting. He said this planet is a "pretty prime candidate" for harboring life.
Life on other planets doesn't mean E.T. Even a simple single-cell bacteria or the equivalent of shower mold would shake perceptions about the uniqueness of life on Earth.
But there are still many unanswered questions about this strange planet. It is about three times the mass of Earth, slightly larger in width and much closer to its star — 14 million miles away versus 93 million. It's so close to its version of the sun that it orbits every 37 days. And it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark.
Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be "shirt-sleeve weather," said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
It's unknown whether water actually exists on the planet, and what kind of atmosphere it has. But because conditions are ideal for liquid water, and because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water, Vogt believes "that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."
The astronomers' findings are being published in Astrophysical Journal and were announced by the National Science Foundation on Wednesday.
The planet circles a star called Gliese 581. It's about 120 trillion miles away, so it would take several generations for a spaceship to get there. It may seem like a long distance, but in the scheme of the vast universe, this planet is "like right in our face, right next door to us," Vogt said in an interview.
That close proximity and the way it was found so early in astronomers' search for habitable planets hints to scientists that planets like Earth are probably not that rare.
Vogt and Butler ran some calculations, with giant fudge factors built in, and figured that as much as one out of five to 10 stars in the universe have planets that are Earth-sized and in the habitable zone.
With an estimated 200 billion stars in the universe, that means maybe 40 billion planets that have the potential for life, Vogt said. However, Ohio State University's Scott Gaudi cautioned that is too speculative about how common these planets are.
Vogt and Butler used ground-based telescopes to track the star's precise movements over 11 years and watch for wobbles that indicate planets are circling it. The newly discovered planet is actually the sixth found circling Gliese 581. Two looked promising for habitability for a while, another turned out to be too hot and the fifth is likely too cold. This sixth one bracketed right in the sweet spot in between, Vogt said.
With the star designated "a," its sixth planet is called Gliese 581g.
"It's not a very interesting name and it's a beautiful planet," Vogt said. Unofficially, he's named it after his wife: "I call it Zarmina's World."
The star Gliese 581 is a dwarf, about one-third the strength of our sun. Because of that, it can't be seen without a telescope from Earth, although it is in the Libra constellation, Vogt said.
But if you were standing on this new planet, you could easily see our sun, Butler said.
The low-energy dwarf star will live on for billions of years, much longer than our sun, he said. And that just increases the likelihood of life developing on the planet, the discoverers said.
"It's pretty hard to stop life once you give it the right conditions," Vogt said.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

Stonehenge skeleton

A wealthy young teenager buried near Britain's mysterious Stonehenge monument came from the Mediterranean hundreds of miles away, scientists said Wednesday, proof of the site's importance as a travel destination in prehistoric times.
The teen — dubbed "The Boy with the Amber Necklace" because he was unearthed with a cluster of amber beads around his neck — is one of several sets of foreign remains found around the ancient ring of imposing stones, whose exact purpose remains unknown.
The British Geological Survey's Jane Evans said that the find, radiocarbon dated to 1,550 B.C., "highlights the diversity of people who came to Stonehenge from across Europe," a statement backed by Bournemouth University's Timothy Darvill, a Stonehenge scholar uninvolved with the discovery.
"The find adds considerable weight to the idea that people traveled long distances to visit Stonehenge, which must therefore have had a big reputation as a cult center," Darvill said in an e-mail Wednesday. "Long distance travel was certainly more common at this time than we generally think."
The skeleton, thought to be that of a 14- or 15-year-old, was unearthed about two miles (3 kilometers) southeast of Stonehenge, in southern England.
Clues to the adolescent's foreign origins could be found in the necklace, which isn't a recognized British type. But he was traced to the area around the Mediterranean Sea by a technique known as isotope analysis, which in this case measured the ratio of strontium and oxygen isotopes in his tooth enamel.
Different regions have different mixes of elements in their drinking water, for example, and some of those are absorbed into a person's tooth enamel as he or she grows up. Analysis of the isotopes of oxygen and strontium carried in the enamel can give scientists a good but rather general idea of where a person was raised.
The teen, whose necklace suggests he came from a rich family, is one of several long-distance travelers found near Stonehenge. The "Amesbury Archer," so-called because of the stone arrowheads he was found with, was buried three miles (5 kilometers) from Stonehenge but is thought to have come from the Alpine foothills of central Europe. The "Boscombe Bowmen," also found nearby, are thought to have come from Wales or possibly Brittany.
It isn't clear precisely what drew these people to Stonehenge, a site which has existed in various forms for some 5,000 years. It clearly had an important ceremonial function, and the area around it is dotted with the remains of prehistoric monuments and tombs. Some say it was at the center of a sun-worshipping culture or that it served as a kind of astronomical calendar.
Others, like Darvill, also say it might have been an important healing site, drawing pilgrims from across Europe like a prehistoric version of Lourdes.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

World's Scariest Bridges (part 1)

Rotting wooden planks, held aloft by rusty bits of wire, stretch out in front of you. You reach for a railing to steady yourself, but all you find are two threadbare ropes. The howling wind blows the rickety footbridge from side to side. Somewhere below you lies the forest floor—you don’t even know how far.
All bridges serve a purpose, whether utilitarian or inspirational. And some of them, like Musou Tsuribashi—this shaky, 50-year-old crossing in southern Japan—add a distinct element of fear. But you don’t have to be in a remote part of the world: scary bridges exist everywhere, in all shapes, sizes, and heights. And crossing over them can be the ultimate in adventure travel.
Surprisingly, not all of these bridges are old and dilapidated. Take the Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. The wind here can reach speeds of 30 mph, leading to white-knuckled drives across its five-mile-long span. It can be so scary that some people simply won’t go. So the Mackinac Bridge Authority will drive your car for you…for free. In the past year, it has assisted almost 1,400 drivers—and plenty of similar programs exist around the country.
Is this an irrational fear? Not necessarily. Gephyrophobia—the fear of bridges—is an accepted psychological diagnosis. Dr. Michael R. Liebowitz, founder of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, told the New York Times that the fear of crossing bridges is very common (if not as well known as, say, the fear of flying). It also “carries a stigma,” says Liebowitz, even though bridges have been known to collapse, like the interstate highway bridge in downtown Minneapolis in 2007.
But unlike gephyrophobes, many courageous (or foolhardy) travelers seek out hair-raising bridges just for the thrill. The bridges along the route to Colombia’s National Archeological Park of Tierradentro are a good example. Though there are safer routes via bus from La Plata, some thrill-seekers choose to ride motorcycles over slippery bamboo crossings deep in the mountains, where one wrong move could mean plunging into a turbulent river.
So get ready to face your fears—or maybe find your next adventure—with our list of the world’s most petrifying bridges.

1. Aiguille du Midi Bridge, France

Don’t look down. At this height, you’ll want to keep your eyes locked on the panorama of the craggy French Alps. Fortunately, the bridge itself is short, making for an easy escape if acrophobia sets in. But those truly afraid of heights probably won’t even see the bridge; getting here requires taking a cable car that climbs 9,200 vertical feet in just 20 minutes.
Where: The summit of Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc massif near Chamonix.
Stats: 12,605 feet above sea level.

2. Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado

America’s highest suspension bridge may be breathtaking for some, but those scared of heights may be left gasping for air as they stare straight down nearly 90 stories at the Arkansas River below. Completed in 1929, the bridge didn’t have stabilizing wind cables until 1982.
Where: Royal Gorge, Colorado, over the Arkansas River.
Stats: 969 feet above the gorge; 1,260 feet long.

3. Trift Suspension Bridge, Switzerland

One of the Alps’ longest and highest pedestrian suspension bridges, Trift was built in 2004 to reconnect hikers to a hut made inaccessible by a retreating glacier. A replacement in 2009 gave this bridge higher handrails and stabilizing cables to prevent it from swinging violently in the wind. But it still provides an adrenaline rush.
Where: Trift Glacier, near the town of Gadmen in the Swiss Alps.
Stats: 328 feet high; 558 feet long.

4. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

First things first: nobody has fallen off this bridge. However, many visitors who walk across simply can’t handle the return and have to go by boat. It used to be even scarier. Erected by fishermen who went to the island to catch salmon, the original bridge had only a single handrail. The rope bridge eventually became popular with tourists seeking a thrill, and the National Trust replaced it with a sturdier structure with two handrails.
Where: Near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Stats: 65 feet long; nearly 100 feet above the rocks below.

5. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada

Originally built in 1889, this simple suspension footbridge surrounded by an evergreen forest is very high, fairly narrow, and extremely shaky—the cedar planks bounce on their steel cables as you walk across them. If the bridge doesn’t scare you, wait until the spring of 2011; the Cliffhanger attraction will allow visitors to climb across a series of suspended walkways attached to a cliff.
Where: North Vancouver, British Columbia, across the Capilano River.
Stats: 450 feet long; 230 feet high

6. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan

Some drivers get so nervous about crossing this five-mile-long bridge that they don’t even go. And this happens so often that the Mackinac Bridge Authority will drive your car or motorcycle for you (and for free). The biggest fear is the wind, which often exceeds 30 miles per hour on the bridge.
Where: Between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
Stats: 5 miles long; 199 feet above the water.

7. Puente de Ojuela, Mexico

This bridge leads to a ghost town, but it’s the squeaky wood floor that makes it scary. Fortunately, steel cables suspended from two towers bring a greater feeling of safety. Still, steel is a relatively recent addition: when German engineer Santiago Minhguin built this bridge in the 19th century, those towers were made of wood.
Where: The ghost town of Ojuela, an old mining settlement in the northern state of Durango, Mexico.
Stats: 1,043 feet long; 2 feet wide; 360 feet above a gorge.

8. Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland

Drivers are notoriously afraid of this bridge, as it’s subjected to frequent—and often violent—storms. And when the bad weather hits, forget about visibility: get to the middle of this five-mile-long bridge and you can barely see land.
Where: Spanning the Chesapeake Bay to connect Maryland’s eastern and western shores.
Stats: Nearly 5 miles long; 186 feet high at its highest point.

9. Monkey Bridges, Vietnam

It may seem that only monkeys could make it across traditional monkey bridges—after all, they’re typically made of a single bamboo log and one handrail. However, the name comes from the stooped monkey-like posture you have to maintain when crossing, so as not to plunge into the river below.
Where: Various points across the Mekong Delta at the southern tip of Vietnam.
Stats: These bridges are built by hand by local residents and vary from town to town. Newer ones are made of concrete.

Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan

Massive gaps between the planks, a wild side-to-side swing: there are reasons this is considered one of the world’s most harrowing suspension bridges. While rickety cable and wood bridges are common in this area, crossing this bridge over the rapidly flowing Hunza River is particularly frightening, as the tattered remains of the previous bridge hang by threads next to the one currently in use.
Where: In the village of Hussaini in Northern Pakistan, crossing the Hunza River.
Stats: Floodwaters reportedly submerged the bridge in May 2010. However, due to its draw as a popular adventure-travel activity, the bridge is likely to be rebuilt.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

Solar Storm, EMP atack from Sun - the possibilities and how to react

Now, for the last couple of years, those in the know have been pointing towards the next big false flag (ref: 9-11's ptech war-game side-switching con) being a false flag Cyber Attack on the very thing that all of us take for granted in this so-called developed world, OUR ELECTRONIC INFRASTRUCTURE, so the warning I'm about to highlight may be just 'the official cover story' for the above false flag and must be taken with a pinch of corporate salt.

Notice that there was a MASSIVE filament in the sun's lower hemisphere around about the 22nd of February. The arrival of the radiation from that on the 27th February coincided with the 8.8-mag Chile earthquake, and there's already been many aftershocks with a 7.2 off Libertador O'Higgins today, as well as these other events, today.

Well, as of today's date there's STILL a second dark filament in the upper hemisphere ... it's when these filaments crash back to the sun's surface that the radiation burst takes place.

Also, after an extended period of solar sunspot inactivity, we're approaching the start of the 'potentially spectacular' 2010 SOLAR MAXIMUM that this 2006 NASA article warned about.
This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

That was a solar maximum. The Space Age was just beginning. In 1958 you couldn't tell that a solar storm was underway by looking at the bars on your cell phone; cell phones didn't exist. Even so, people knew something big was happening when Northern Lights were sighted three times in Mexico. A similar maximum now would be noticed by its effect on cell phones, GPS, weather satellites and many other modern technologies.

For the last two days my faithful FreeView's been playing up. And I was rather intrigued by the recent 'flock of starlings falling to earth' story. Remember, a burnt-out electronic infrastructure would have CATASTROPHIC IMPLICATIONS for modern life on this planet. Far much more than the Swine Flu 'work from home' strategies the government rolled out recently. Everything would go down. Energy Grid. Transport. Money. Everything. There is no such thing as a Global Backup system. It'll be a TWO YEAR gap in electrical/electronic service, at the very least.

A self-confessed Boeing-whistleblower has been warning of imminent Gamma Ray Bursts or Electromagnetic Pulses from our sun based on interference it's receiving from a massive interstellar cloud radiating from the centre of our galaxy. This is the same cloud that David Wilcock was discussing at the Awake & Aware conference in L.A. late last year. In his mesmerising presentation, he discussed distinct and noticable changes in the magnetic/radiational data from our neighbouring planets in the solar system. This is the same cloud that's been observed to have been affecting light output from various beighbouring stars, according to NASA observations.

What to do?
I like to discuss about the preparation methods to communicate after a major solar flare event, the preparation method must be simple to follow & easily understood by the masses.
I found a great forum at God Like Production and they discuss at length ways to communicate after all the electronics get overloaded by induced electricity shock from the Solar Storm.
Various methods from the simplest to the complicated are discussed and I have a few of myself too so Let's list them all below:

*Pencil & Pen method - Since before the arrival of internet we had been sending snail mails everywhere in the globe but this time round there will be no mail vans but horseback mail instead. Leave a written note at home before going out may serve as a communication as well.

*CB Radio or UHF Radio - These radio can be preemptively protected using a simple Faraday cage so that they can be used AFTER the solar storm passed.

*Internet - Many may also argue that you won't get internet once the Internet service provider goes down after the solar storm, I will debate that the service provider can and possibly will restore their services very quickly if they know what to protect against the solar storm now. Keep your favorite internet laptops, tablets, smart phones protected with a faraday cages in case you can use it to send email or video calls to seek help.

*Renewable Energy - do not wait for the government to provide electricity to the individual, get a renewable energy source for your self as soon as possible. It may be solar panels, wind mill, bicycle generator, hand crank or even DIY methods of energy production from reflected sun lights to a steam engine power generator. Anything is possible if you have the will power & time to invest.

I may not be 100% prepared myself as there are so many things to prepare! Let's list down the items that require some kind of preparation:

-Food - in times where everywhere are closed due to lacking of electronically powered gadgets like vehicles, computers & refrigerators we must prepare food storage in event there are no electronics around to help us.

-Water - water pump from city water supply may get disabled during the solar storm as most of them are computer controlled, get a big water tank or fish tank that can give you some water to filter to drink during crisis. Filtration is important & remember to boil before drinking.

-Protect gadgets of priority - protect your electronics with faradays cages if possible so that no EMP can get through, that may means spare electronics to be kept in faraday cages. For me it may be a spare landline telephone, iPad, CB radio (not yet buy), portable hard disk, video camera and more.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

EMP Attack and Solar Storms

How much do we need to worry?

So, do we really need to worry about a huge solar storm burning out the electrical systems of half the world in 2013? Masochists that we are here at the Telegraph, we love to shoot down our own stories, and I was cracking my knuckles for this one. It’s got all the ingredients – white-coated authority, grave warnings of impending doom, exciting sciencey nuclear nemesis in space. NASA! Solar flares! Planes falling out of the sky! Etc.
But I read the piece, and spoke to the reporter, and – while always remembering that I am no more an astrophysicist than I am a black belt in tae kwon do – it sounded pretty solid. Dr Richard Fisher, the director of Nasa’s Heliophysics division, is very clear in the quotes, and our reporter, Andrew Hough, was very careful to check his facts with Dr Fisher before publishing. It sounds like a lot of serious people think that this is a real danger.
Apparently the concern is in 2013, the sun will reach a stage of its cycle when these large events are more likely. This might strike you as a bit strange, as you’ve probably heard (as have I) that the sun has been especially active for the last half-century or so and is expected to die down in the next couple of years – I spoke to Marcus Chown, the physicist and author of We Need to Talk about Kelvin, who said “Solar activity has been abnormally high for the past 50 years, but the extremely feeble start to the latest 11-year cycle suggests this activity is coming to an end and things are going to be quiet on the Sun for quite a few years.” Dr Ruth Bamford, a plasma physicist at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, agrees: “The sun has been particularly quiet for the last few years in a protracted solar minimum. It has just woken up, as it were, and started its usual 11-year cycle a bit later than most.”
So what’s going on? Well, something similar has happened before. In 1859 a huge solar storm burned out telegraph wires across Europe and the United States. Dr Stuart Clark has written a book, The Sun Kings, about when that happened. He says that the “Carrington flare”, as it was known, “smothered two-thirds of the Earth’s skies in a blood-red aurora a night later, and crippled all of global navigation and global communication, such as it was at that time. Compasses span uselessly and the telegraph network went down as phantom electricity surged through the wire.”
The sun had indeed been running at a record high for the latter half of the 20th century, and has now died down to its lowest level for a century. But Dr Clark warns that “average levels of solar activity has fallen does not mean that the Sun is immune from large flares or even giant ones. Low average levels of activity may even promote the giant flares.
“Perhaps like earthquakes, when there are constant flares/tremors the energy is dissipated evenly over long periods of time. But in periods of quiet, that energy can build up and then suddenly be released in a giant event. This remains speculation, however.”
2013 is when the next peak in the sun’s cycle of activity is expected, and while we cannot predict individual flares, Dr Clark says that the largest flares are often shortly after the peak.
Of course, if a proper “Carrington event” happens again, it has the potential to be far more problematic now than in 1859 when electric communication was barely in its infancy. Dr Clark says “There is absolutely no reason to believe that we are heading for solar armageddon in 2013, but sooner or later we should expect there to be another Carrington event and that is what these scientists [at NASA] are trying to prevent. Legislation in the US has just passed Congress to help harden the grid against solar flares.”
So – it’s a real thing, and we should be concerned. But preventive measures can be taken – satellites can be sent offline during big flares, power grids and communication networks can be shielded against electromagnetic radiation and so on. As Dr Bamford says: “The extreme events like the 1859 Carrington Event are 1-in-100-year probabilities, about the same probability as a storm of the level of Katrina hitting New Orleans – and New Orleans did not build their defences to withstand the extreme-but-unlikely magnitude. 100 years isn’t that long.
“But the end of the world it is not. Maybe as disruptive as an ash cloud, but not as protracted I’m sure.” She gives examples of precautions, like a GPS backup system called eLoran, or active mini-magnetosphere shielding for astronauts and satellites that her team have designed.
Of course, if those precautions are taken, and actually work, and no damage is done, then everyone will cry that it was all a big fuss over nothing, like they always do. So the scientists can’t win, really. But that’s just how it is.

A Guide
An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), is generated from the detonation of a nuclear device. A similar waveform is created by extreme solar activity, such as that which was experienced in 1859, 1921, 1989 and as recent as 1994. The US Government and military have studied these phenomenon extensively and several reports have been issued regarding EMP effects on vehicles, computer networks, critical infrastructure and more. In this report, we'll briefly cover many of the topics discussed and researched in regards to geomagnetic anomalies, solar storm activity and the effects of an electromagnetic pulse. It should be noted, however, that Congress has largely ignored the EMP Commission's warnings and our hospitals and critical infrastructure remain highly vulnerable.
In the late summer of 1859, a great solar storm hit the planet. This storm was the product of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun. While the science and physics behind these coronal ejections is interesting, it can also be long winded for some readers so I'll keep this brief.
Once in a while - exactly when scientists still cannot predict - an event occurs on the surface of the Sun that releases a tremendous amount of energy in the form of a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection, an explosive burst of very hot, electrified gases with a mass that can surpass that of Mount Everest. I encourage you to research this more if you would like a deeper understanding of the charged plasma that is ejected from the Sun's surface occasionally.
What you need to realize is that these solar storms are not only electrically and magnetically charged, but they bring radiation – across the spectrum, from microwave radiation to gamma rays.
On September 1st and 2nd, 1859, Earth's inhabitants experienced the greatest solar storm in recorded history. "The grid" was in it's infancy, consisting mainly of a few telegraph wires, mostly in larger cities. This storm short-circuited the wires and caused massive fires. The typical light show in the far north, known as the Aurora Borealis, was seen as far south as Cuba, Rome and Hawaii. Due to society's light dependence on any form of an electrical grid at the time, this did not disrupt the world substantially.
In 1989 and 1994, minor solar storms knocked out communication satellites, shut down power plants and disrupted the electrical grid. These were minor solar flares. Imagine if a solar storm the size of 1859's struck our modern society? Delicate wires run everywhere nowadays. Filaments, computer chips, hard drives, cell phones and electrical lines that stretch thousands of miles. Have you stopped to think about your vehicle's computer system? The details might surprise you. We'll get to that in a minute, but first, let's talk briefly about a man-made version of the Perfect Solar Storm – the nuclear EMP event.
Electromagnetic Pulse Attack
According to the 2004 Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States of EMP Attack (Executive Report), “Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.”
It goes on to briefly address the effects, “EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society...” The Commission's chairman has testified that within one year of such an attack, 70% - 90% of Americans would be dead from such causes as disease and violence. It is also highly plausible that many Americans would die of starvation due to the interruption of the national food supply.
According to the Washington Department of Health, Office of Radiation Protection, “A 1.4 Megaton bomb launched about 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most of the electronics that were not protected in the entire Continental United States.”
So, as you can see, both a massive solar storm and an EMP event could quite possibly end civilization as we know it. I know that sounds drastic, but in the United States and other technologically advanced countries, how would the mass population handle a prolonged event with very little or quite possibly, no electricity? As the Commission noted, our society is utterly dependent on our electrical grid for everything.
Trucking and transportation
Gas stations and refineries
Information and communications
Commercial production of food and goods
Water purification and delivery
Most of our military capability
These are only a handful of things that we take for granted because they are always there. If the gas stations were out of order, and no refineries able to produce more fuel, can you imagine how quickly our “civilized society” would break down? With that event alone, grocery store shelves become empty within a matter of days and farmers can't transport any goods. If you were not aware, grocery stores do not stock much extra produce or food “in the back of the store.” In order to maintain a high profit margin, stores maintain only a few days worth of staples until another shipment arrives. This not only conserves space, but allows for them to keep their overhead lower, among other things.
Once the gas stops flowing and the shelves are wiped clean, how long will your neighbor remain civil?
Several tests and scenarios have shown that cell phones will be one of the first tell-tale signs of an electromagnetic event because of the enormous percentage of the population carrying one. If the power grid were to simply go down, this wouldn't effect your cell phone. Depending on your location, your local cell towers probably have back-up power systems, as well. The cell towers, backup power and your cell phone will all be disabled after an electromagnetic event, offering you a clue as to what has just happened.
The Commission went on to assess just how our society would be impacted from an EMP event, including how well cars and trucks can handle the burst of electromagnetic waves.
The Automobile and Trucking Infrastructures
[brief excerpt from the Commission's 2008 report]
"Over the past century, our society and economy have developed in tandem with the automobile and trucking industries. As a consequence, we have become highly dependent on these infrastructures for maintaining our way of life.
Our land-use patterns, in particular, have been enabled by the automobile and trucking infrastructures. Distances between suburban housing developments, shopping centers, schools, and employment centers enforce a high dependence on the automobile. Suburbanites need their cars to get food from the grocery store, go to work, shop, obtain medical care, and myriad other activities of daily life. Rural Americans are just as dependent on automobiles, if not more so. Their needs are similar to those of suburbanites, and travel distances are greater. To the extent that city dwellers rely on available mass transit, they are less dependent on personal automobiles. But mass transit has been largely supplanted by automobiles, except in a few of our largest cities.
As much as automobiles are important to maintaining our way of life, our very lives are dependent on the trucking industry. The heavy concentration of our population in urban and suburban areas has been enabled by the ability to continuously supply food from farms and processing centers far removed. As we noted above, cities typically have a food supply of only several days available on grocery shelves for their customers.
Replenishment of that food supply depends on a continuous flow of trucks from food processing centers to food distribution centers to warehouses and to grocery stores and restaurants. If urban food supply flow is substantially interrupted for an extended period of time, hunger and mass evacuation, even starvation and anarchy, could result.
Trucks also deliver other essentials. Fuel delivered to metropolitan areas through pipelines is not accessible to the public until it is distributed by tanker trucks to gas stations.
Garbage removal, utility repair operations, fire equipment, and numerous other services are delivered using specially outfitted trucks. Nearly 80 percent of all manufactured goods at some point in the chain from manufacturer to consumer are transported by truck.
The consequences of an EMP attack on the automobile and trucking infrastructures would differ for the first day or so and in the longer term. An EMP attack will certainly immediately disable a portion of the 130 million cars and 90 million trucks in operation in the United States. Vehicles disabled while operating on the road can be expected to cause accidents. With modern traffic patterns, even a very small number of disabled vehicles or accidents can cause debilitating traffic jams. Moreover, failure of electronically based traffic control signals will exacerbate traffic congestion in metropolitan areas.
In the aftermath of an EMP attack that occurs during working hours, with a large number of people taking to the road at the same time to try to get home, we can expect extreme traffic congestion."
EMP Vulnerability of the Automobile and Trucking Infrastructures
The Commission tested the EMP susceptibility of traffic light controllers, automobiles and trucks.
The summary of the tests conclude that traffic light controllers will begin to malfunction following exposure to EMP fields as low as a few kV/m, thereby causing traffic congestion.
For automobiles, approximately 10% of the vehicles on the road will stop, at least temporarily, thereby possibly triggering accidents, as well as congestion, at field levels above 25 kV/m. For vehicles that were turned off during the testing, none suffered serious effects and were able to be started.
Of the trucks that were not running during EMP exposure, none were subsequently affected during the test. Thirteen of the 18 trucks exhibited a response while running. Most seriously, three of the truck motors stopped. Two could be restarted immediately, but one required towing to a garage for repair. The other 10 trucks that responded exhibited relatively minor temporary responses that did not require driver intervention to correct. Five of the 18 trucks tested did not exhibit any anomalous response up to field strengths of approximately 50 kV/m.
In regards to the airline industry, “Although commercial aircraft have proven EM protection against naturally occurring EM environments [such as lightning], we cannot confirm safety of flight following [severe or hostile] EMP exposure. Moreover, if the complex air traffic control system is damaged by EMP, restoration of full services could take months or longer.”
In conclusion, you have a very good chance that should an EMP or severe solar storm occur while you are driving home from work, you will be able to make it home as long as you are careful to avoid collisions. Once home, however, is an entirely different story!
There will be no more fuel available. There will be no more food and water for purchase. There will be no more iPhone or internet. And if you do find these things, what will be the price? Your dollars will very likely mean nothing to anyone with common sense. The art of bartering will very quickly take on a new importance for your own survival.
If this event were to occur, you could count on a very prolonged period of great civil unrest, riots, theft and wide spread violence. Repairs will be very slow and new parts for the large generators and power plants will likely have to be manufactured overseas and delivered to the United States. Furthermore, these foreign factories would have to retool their machines to create the specific part that we need if they are not already our supplier. And that is if the other industrialized nations aren't effected, as well.
As for the military and police, you can expect high numbers of deserters, placing an even greater strain on the limited resources of government order. This is not meant as an insult to our uniformed personnel, but from my personal experience of being a New Orleans police officer before, during and after Hurricane Katrina, I witnessed 1/5 of the police department simply walk away the first day. Some chose to leave for family reasons while others left due to stress. I also saw how quickly those we entrust with public safety can become an armed street gang and simply take what you have at gun point. These are all valid topics to consider when speaking about an event such as an EMP or severe solar storm. These are valid points even when the disaster is very localized, such as Hurricane Katrina was.
If you would like to learn more details about the actual tests, continue reading below.
Traffic Lights
In testing the traffic lights, the Commission used the 170E controller which is in use in 80% of all signal intersections. They noted four different types of effects, depending on the power level of the electromagnetic pulse.
The following effects were observed:
1. Forced Cycle: At field levels of 1 to 5 kV/m, the light was forced to cycle from green to red without going through yellow. This is a transient effect that recovers automatically after one cycle.
2. Disrupted Cycle: At field levels of 5 to 10 kV/m, the normally programmed cycle times became corrupted and change to a cycle different from that originally programmed. The controller had either been damaged or needed to be manually reset.
3. No Cycle: At 10 to 15 kV/m, the side street lights at an intersection never turned green. The controller had been damaged.
4. Flash Mode: Also at 10 to 15 kV/m, the intersection went into a mode in which the lights in all directions were flashing. This mode can cause large traffic jams because traffic flow is severely reduced in this situation. The controller has either been damaged or needs to be manually reset.
Based on these results, it can be anticipated that an EMP will trigger moderate to severe traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. The traffic congestion may be exacerbated by the panic reactions possibly attendant to an EMP attack. None of the data predict or suggest life threatening conditions; conflicting green lights did not occur during the tests. All the observed effects would cause less traffic disruption than would a power outage, which results in no working traffic lights.
The potential EMP vulnerability of automobiles derives from the use of built-in electronics that support multiple functions within the vehicle.
With more than 100 microprocessors in modern vehicles, one might think that leaves newer cars more susceptible to being disrupted by an EMP, but due to higher standards in electromagnetic compatibility, this weakness has been mitigated.
The Commission tested a sample of 37 cars in an EMP simulation laboratory, with vehicle years ranging from 1986 through 2002. Automobiles of these vintages include extensive electronics and represent a significant portion of the vehicles on the road today.
Automobiles were subjected to EMP environments under both engine turned off and engine turned on conditions. No effects were subsequently observed in those automobiles that were not turned on during EMP exposure. The most serious effect observed on running automobiles was that the motors in three cars stopped at field strengths of approximately 30 kV/m or above. In an actual EMP exposure, these vehicles would glide to a stop and require the driver to restart them. Electronics in the dashboard of one automobile were damaged and required repair. Other effects were relatively minor. Twenty-five automobiles exhibited malfunctions that could be considered only a nuisance (e.g., blinking dashboard lights) and did not require driver intervention to correct. Eight of the 37 cars tested did not exhibit any anomalous response.
Based on these test results, the Commission expects few automobile effects at EMP field levels below 25 kV/m. Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field levels may experience serious EMP effects, including engine stall, that require driver intervention to correct.
As is the case for automobiles, the potential EMP vulnerability of trucks derives from the trend toward increasing use of electronics. The Commission assessed the EMP vulnerability of trucks using an approach identical to that used for automobiles. Eighteen running and non-running trucks were exposed to simulated EMP in a laboratory. The intensity of the EMP fields was increased until either anomalous response was observed or simulator limits were reached. The trucks ranged from gasoline-powered pickup trucks to large diesel- powered tractors. Truck vintages ranged from 1991 to 2003.
Of the trucks that were not running during EMP exposure, none were subsequently affected during the test. Thirteen of the 18 trucks exhibited a response while running. Most seriously, three of the truck motors stopped. Two could be restarted immediately, but one required towing to a garage for repair. The other 10 trucks that responded exhibited relatively minor temporary responses that did not require driver intervention to correct. Five of the 18 trucks tested did not exhibit any anomalous response up to field strengths of approximately 50 kV/m.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with 2 comments

Top 10 The Most Expensive Homes

As new home sales have fallen to record lows, building a super luxury mansion for sale today may strike some people as risky, if not crazy, but that is not stopping ambitious developers. In high-end enclaves across the U.S., a number of residences—some of which began construction before the recession—have come to market this year with asking prices north of $20 million (and in some cases considerably more).
To identify the most expensive new constructions for sale nationwide, searched listings on, Sotheby’s International Realty, Corcoran, and Some were built on spec—or built by developers for sale on the open market, not for a client—while others were custom-built for owners who later decided to sell. The biggest price tag we found: $100 million for a mansion in Windermere, Fla. The least? An 18,886 -sq. -ft. beach house in Boca Raton, Fla. for $22 million. While it remains a buyers market, there is some positive news for sellers: The ultra rich, or those with investable assets of at least $30 million, increased their wealth by 21.5 percent last year, and investing in residential real estate has regained appeal among the wealthy, according to the "2010 World Wealth Report" by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. The biggest home sale so far this year: a 2006 Bel-Air mansion called Le Belvedere, which had an original asking price of $85 million and sold for as much as $72 million (the final price was not released).

1. Windemere, Fla.

6121 Kirkstone Lane
Listing price: $100 million completed ($75 million as is)
Year built: 2011*
This 90,000-sq.-ft. lakefront house, originally conceived for David Siegel, chief executive of time-share company Westgate Resorts, is currently unfinished. Construction was halted on the mansion during the recession, reported The house is designed to have 13 bedrooms, 23 baths, a main kitchen with 10 satellite kitchens, and three swimming pools. Siegel is selling the house for $100 million completed, or unfinished for $75 million.

2. Palm Beach, Fla.

1220 South Ocean Boulevard
Listing price: $84 million
Year built: 2010
This gated French château-style home sits on 2.5 acres in one of Palm Beach’s most desirable areas, on the waterfront near the Bath & Tennis Club and Mar-A-Lago. The 27,300-sq.-ft. residence was completed this spring by Dan Swanson, president of Addison Development, and has eight en suite bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a 60-ft. pool, a separate guesthouse, and room to park 50 cars.

3. Beverly Hills, Calif.

9577 Sunset Boulevard
Listing price: $68.5 million
Year built: 2010
This enormous new residence offers about 36,000 sq. ft. of living space on nearly two acres. It has nine bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a pool, tennis court, and gym with sauna, steam shower, and Jacuzzi. The owner, C. Frederick Wehba Sr., founder of real estate investment firm Bentley Forbes Group, spent four years and $65 million building the mansion for fund-raising events but decided to list it, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.

4. Alpine, N.J.

1 Frick Drive
Listing price: $68 million
Year built: 2010
Richard Kurtz, chief executive of apartment management company Kamson Corp., started building this New Jersey mansion for himself and his family nearly three years ago but recently decided to move to Florida instead. Completed in July, this new estate features 30,000 sq. ft. of interior space, including 12 bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms and four half baths, a theater, indoor basketball court, 65-ft. pool, and a tennis court. Broker Dennis McCormack says this is the third largest house in Alpine, a small town that has also been home to such celebrities as Chris Rock and Britney Spears. If the house sells for the asking price of $68 million, it would be New Jersey’s most expensive home sale ever, McCormack says.

5. Bridgehampton, N.Y.

612 Halsey Lane
Listing price: $49.5 million
Year built: 2009
The Sandcastle estate, set on 11.5 acres, features 31,000 sq. ft. of living space on three floors, which include 12 bedrooms, 12 baths, and recreational amenities such as a pool, tennis court, skateboard half pipe, rock climbing wall, squash and racket ball court, two-lane bowling alley, full bar and disco, and a spa. It was originally built by Joe Farrell, founder of Farrell Building Co. in Bridgehampton, as his own residence, reports, and has been rented for $500,000 per two-week stay. The asking price has been reduced from $59.5 million.

6. Palm Beach, Fla.

101 El Bravo Way
Listing Price: $47.5 million
Year Built: 2010
This Mediterranean residence, completed in the spring by Addison Development of Palm Beach, offers about 21,200 sq. ft. of living space on three floors that include nine bedrooms, eight full baths, and two half baths, according to The property has a swimming pool and 175 ft. of frontage on the Atlantic Ocean.

7. Santa Barbara, Calif.

East Mountain Drive Estate
Listing price: $42.5 million
Year built: 2010
This colonial-style Montecito estate includes a six-bedroom main residence measuring 10,800 sq. ft. and a two-bedroom guest home on five acres, featuring gardens, a 56-ft. pool, koi pond, and brook, among other amenities. The grounds feature views of the Pacific Ocean.

8. Greenwich, Conn.

14 Meadow Lane
Listing price: $36.5 million
Year built: 2010
This newly built Georgian Colonial-style estate sits on 14.48 acres near the Round Hill Country Club and has 14,131 sq. ft. of living space. The property features gardens, stables with grooms' quarters, a pool and pool house, a stone gate house, and a one-mile walking path.

9. Aspen, Colo.

379 & 389 Ridge Road
Listing Price: $35 million
Year Built: 2009
A number of costly new homes have been completed in Aspen in the past two years. This luxury compound on Ridge Road consists of two adjacent lots on more than two acres. The main home, which is 11,300 sq. ft., has five bedrooms, five full baths, three half-baths, a theater, 1,600-bottle wine room, and three-car garage. The guesthouse, which measures 4,178 sq. ft., has five bedrooms, five and a baths, and a two-car garage.

10. Santa Barbara, Calif.

780 Ashley Road
Listing price: $35 million
Year built: 2010
This modern residence, called the Glass Pavilion, offers nearly 14,000 sq. ft. of living space, including five bedrooms, five and a half baths, and an art gallery large enough to exhibit 32 cars. The house, set on 3.5 acres of oak groves, overlooks the surrounding mountains and woods.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

Two asteroids to pass near Earth Today

Two asteroids are expected to pass within 154,000 miles of Earth on Wednesday _ closer than the distance between the Earth and the moon, NASA announced.

Neither will hit the planet, NASA was quick to add.

Asteroid 2010 RX30 is estimated to be approximately 32 to 65 feet in size and will pass within approximately 154,000 miles of Earth at 5:51 a.m. Wednesday. The second object, 2010 RF12, estimated to be 20 to 46 feet in size, will pass within approximately 49,000 miles at 5:12 p.m.

NASA said the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz., discovered both objects on Sunday. The Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., reviewed the observations and determined the preliminary orbits. The center's personnel concluded both objects would pass within the distance of the moon to Earth, approximately 240,000 miles.

The asteroids should be visible with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

Ancient Moche burials provided insects with banquet

Peru's ancient Moche exposed their dead to corpse-eating bugs as an act of veneration, archeologists report.

In the current Journal of Archeological Science, J.B. Hucheta of France's Université Bordeaux and Bernard Greenberg of the University of Illinois at Chicago, describe a burial at the "Huacas de Moche" Pyramid of the Moon archeological site in Peru. In 2006, a team excavated about 45 graves from the site.

"The Mochica (or Moche) culture is one of the pre-Columbian civilisations in Peru. It flourished from about AD 100 to 750 on a narrow desert coastal strip of northern Peru, between the Andes and the Pacific," note the authors. The Moche are renowned for their brightly-colored pottery and murals.

In the journal, the team reports on the burial of a man in his twenties, found with four pots, five copper ornaments in his mouth and his skull streaked with red cinnabar. Study revealed, "the skeleton was incomplete and had been disturbed prior to excavation: the left forearm and lower legs were entirely missing; and the right humerus had been put back on the wrong side. In all likelihood, these disturbances were caused by the Moche reopening the grave, and not by tomb plunderers (Huaqueros) who would have removed the grave goods to sell, and not bothered with the skeleton."

Insect remains littered the grave, including the shells of at least 200 blowflies, alongside corpse beetles and other flesh-eating bugs. Moche art at the site contains numerous depictions of such insects, the team notes, surrounding sleletons and war captives, who were likely sacrificed at the pyramid. "Flies and death in Mochica iconography are dramatically depicted on Moche ceramics," say the authors.

Weighing the numbers of insect remains, which would not have reached a body buried at least three feet deep, the archeologists estimate the man's corpse was exposed for at least a week prior to burial. Unlike the ancient Egyptians and other ancient cultures, the Moche may have venerated corpse-eating insects, they conclude:
There is a major difference between the Moche view of flies and that of the ancient Near East, typified by the Egyptians. The latter did everything in their power to prevent flies from destroying the corpse, including enclosing written prayers with the body and embalming. The Egyptians hoped the ka would accompany the body of the deceased into eternity, whereas the Moche deliberately exposed the body to the flies with the hope that the anima or spirit of the deceased would be carried from the maggots into adult flies and through close contact with people, complete the human cycle.

The archeologists hope that other scholars can borrow forensic investigation techniques of using insect remains to estimate death conditions for similar "funerary archaeoentomology" efforts.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with No comments

Bizarre Beaches of the World

While the words beach vacation usually call to mind a tropical white-sand beach studded with palm trees and lapped by turquoise waters, the truth is that the world's beaches come in all shapes and sizes—some stranger than others. There are black, green, red, and even purple stretches of sand. Humans also add their own bizarre twists to the beaches of the world and have even tried to trump Mother Nature. Just look at the world's largest swimming pool (pictured below), which runs alongside a gorgeous Pacific Ocean beach in Chile. Oh, what will they think up next?

Nauthólsvík Beach
Reykjavík, Iceland

You wouldn't expect Iceland to be a swimmer's paradise. But then you probably haven't been to Nauthólsvík Beach on the southern coast of Reykjavík. While ocean temperatures this far north normally top out at a frigid 50 degrees, runoff from the capital's geothermal heating system (safely) warms the seawater of this sheltered cove to a comfortable 70 degrees in summer. If that's still too cool, for a few bucks you can steep in the two "hot pots" (pools filled with 100 degree freshwater).
Beyond the beach: Once your fingers go all pruney from your soak, rent a boat from the Siglunes Sailing Club, or refuel with carrot soup and the catch of the day at nearby Nauthóll Bistro. Spend the evening chilling out at the 56-room Hotel Borg, an elegant Art Deco beauty in Reykjavík's central square.

Crosby Beach
Crosby, England

About seven miles north of Liverpool is a little coastal village called Crosby. It would be unremarkable if it weren't for the 100 anatomically correct cast-iron human figures that stand on its beach, facing out to sea. This surreal scene, called Another Place, is the work of English sculptor Antony Gormley, who used a cast of his own naked body for the installation. The statues, which were previously exhibited in Norway, Germany, and Belgium, were supposed to be shipped off to New York City in 2006, but locals fought to keep them here. Some statues are submerged when the rather large tides come in, and over the years, they've attracted barnacles and sunk into the sand. Still, it would be easy to mistake these lifelike statues for nudists watching the horizon—if it weren't for the freezing British location.
Beyond the beach: The Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, which includes a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and fitness center, opened in late 2009, but the town still lacks good lodging options. Liverpool's landmark Atlantic Hotel—though a bit austere—offers outstanding views of the city's historic buildings and waterfront from its 225 rooms.

San Alfonso del Mar
Algarrobo, Chile

Seeing as San Alfonso del Mar fronts a huge beach and the Pacific Ocean, it seems an odd spot for the world's largest swimming pool. But the pool's remarkable spaciousness complements the ocean beyond rather effortlessly, and jumping in the pool's 79 degree water is a much more tempting prospect than venturing into the 63 degree seawater nearby, with its dangerous waves and currents. The resort complex on Chile's central coast resembles a modern Mayan city, with pyramidlike apartment buildings towering above the colossal saltwater pool. Well, since it's over half a mile long and holds about 66 million gallons of water, it's more like a lake. Lining the pool are white-sand beaches, palm trees, and docks for the sailboats that ply the gin-clear water.
Beyond the beach: With such a large pool to get around, it's definitely easiest to stay directly at the resort. If the mammoth lagoon doesn't keep you occupied, there's scuba diving, golf, tennis, paragliding, soccer fields, volleyball courts, a 3-D golf simulator, a full gym, a club, an open-air amphitheater, cafés, ice-cream parlors, tea shops, and an aquarium. Let's just say you won't be bored here.

Bowling Ball Beach
Mendocino County, California
Part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, Bowling Ball Beach in northern California's Mendocino County looks like an art installation—yet it's all natural. Round boulders, roughly four to five feet in diameter, begin poking out of the water with the shifting of the tides. By the lowest ebb, the sand is covered with neat rows of these strange balls. Technically known as concretions, the hard, mineral-based spheres have resisted the endless lashing of the Pacific, while the Cenozoic mudstone that once surrounded them has eroded away to form the cliffs that line the shore. Despite the perfectly reasonable explanation, the boulders add an eerie vibe to an already otherworldly stretch of remote Californian coastline. (Note: The main trail to Bowling Ball Beach is currently closed for repairs; only experienced hikers should attempt the steeper alternate routes.)
Beyond the beach: Perched on the head of a cliff three miles up the coast, the 115-foot-high Point Arena Lighthouse is one of the tallest lighthouse towers on the West Coast. Originally built in 1870, it was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and rebuilt in 1907. Guests can spend the night in one of its four keeper's houses, all with fireplaces, full kitchens, and sea views.

Tropical Islands Resort
Krausnick, Germany

While it's assumed Germans like to travel far and wide to tropical hot spots, this wacky indoor world brings the beach vacation to them. Housed in a former airship hangar that covers the area of about eight football fields, Tropical Islands claims to be the world's largest indoor water park and the largest freestanding hall in the world (at 32 stories high, the Statue of Liberty could stand upright in it). Even in the dead of winter, you can build sand castles under palm trees on the 650-foot-long beach, take a dip in the "sea," or suntan on a lounge chair—the south-side roof is made of transparent foil. Tropical Islands also features the world's largest indoor rain forest (50,000 plants) and Germany's highest waterslide (82 feet). Oh, and did we mention the fitness center, 18-hole mini golf course, and evening magic shows?
Beyond the beach: Located about 37 miles south of Berlin and 62 miles north of Dresden, Tropical Islands is convenient to Germany's well-trodden tourist path. If you don't want to trek back to Berlin after a day at the beach, check into the 28-room Landhotel Krausnick, a simple, clean, and efficient chalet-style inn just a five-minute drive from Tropical Islands.

Repulse Bay
Hong Kong, China

Repulse Bay Beach, an artificial strip of sand on the south side of Hong Kong Island, is one of that city's most popular beaches, and you'll know it by the throngs who pack the place on sunny summer days. Shark nets and floating platforms have been added for swimmers, and of course the needs of a nearby dragon also had to be considered during the construction of a 37-story residential building on the hillside behind the beach. Legend has it a dragon lives at the top of the mountain, and a feng shui master warned that the building would block the dragon's access to the shore. Hence, a large hole was cut out of the tower's center to mollify the dragon and avoid a whole lot of bad luck.
Beyond the beach: Repulse Bay Beach is also famous for the elaborate statues of Chinese sea goddesses at the Kwun Yam Shrine. Throw a coin into the mouth of the fish statue and receive good fortune; cross the gaudy Longevity Bridge and add three days to your life! Once you've had your fill of dragons and superstition, retire to Jia, a Philippe Starck–designed hotel in Causeway Bay that has 54 apartment-style guest rooms.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with 1 comment

Private Islands for Sale

The idea of owning your own island is probably a remote fantasy these days, especially after three years of economic carnage to your bank account, savings, and retirement portfolio. ut come on. It's August. Maybe you're on budget vacation, at the beach, or at a bayfront or lakefront rental. So who hasn't gazed out at an island from the shore, and wondered what it would be like to own your own kingdom, tethered to civilization only by water or air? Think Robinson Crusoe. Sir Richard Branson, Johnny Depp, and Celine Dion all own their own islands.

1. Ram Island
Place: Machias Bay, Maine, 50 miles east of Bar Harbor
Asking Price: $595,000
Acreage: 16

One tree, a few sheep, a 20 by 20 foot platform for pitching a tent, and a mooring in the cove. The rest is grass, rocks, and 360-degree views of the ocean and bay.

Where: Lake Manitou in Northern Indiana
Asking Price: $775,000
Acreage: 1.25

Located halfway between Notre Dame and Purdue universities, this island on a 775-acre natural lake is a state-protected wetland. It features a one-bedroom, two-bath cottage built around 1900, but fully renovated in 1985. There's electricity and running water, and three sides are all in windows. The property also includes a private pier area on the mainland for getting from the car to the boat.

Where: Near Marathon, in the Florida Keys
Asking Price: $995,000
Acreage: 0.32
The turquoise-colored roofs you see in the picture are open-air sitting areas with decks, chairs, and a campfire cooking area. But the island also comes with a 38-foot houseboat, not pictured here, that sleeps 4-5 people. Great reefs nearby for snorkeling. All the seafood you can eat.

Where: On Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Asking Price: $1,057,000
Acreage: 3
A two-hour drive from Toronto, this island features a two-bedroom, two-bath cottage with a glassed-in porch overlooking the water, a separate guest cabin with bathroom, hot tub built into the rock outcropping, and a boathouse with deep water mooring. Running water, electric, a septic field. And it has wireless Internet access. So you could get away from it all, but still check your e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

Where: North Atlantic, near Bodø, Norway
Asking Price: $1,292,000 (1 million euros)
Acreage: 74 acres
Offshore retreat? Heck, this is an offshore town. The property features nine buildings including a restaurant, pub, conference center, marina, boathouses, and a hot tub. Price also includes several boats, an all-terrain vehicle for getting around the island, fishing and hunting gear, and a clay-pigeon set-up for shooting. The Gulf Stream keeps the climate here mild, despite its location in northern Norway.

Place: St. Lawrence Seaway, near Clayton, NY
Asking Price: $1,950,000
Acreage: 1.3
There are more than 1,400 islands in the Thousand Island region of upstate New York. But few of them come with a 6,500-square-foot mansion -- ten bedrooms, four bathrooms, plus a boat house and dock. About an hour-and-a-half drive from either Syracuse or Montreal.

Place: Near Abacos, Northern Bahamas
Asking Price: $1,950,000
Acreage: 25
Partially developed
Notice the lagoon that separates the west side of the island from the east. On the west side sits a studio home and a guest cabana with an electric generator. The east side is undeveloped. Marina and airstrip are a 15-minute boat ride away, on the main island of Abacos.

Place: Long Island Sound, in Guilford, Conn.
Asking Price: $2,500,000
Acreage: 0.75
Less than 2.5 hours from Manhattan, and at low tide, a short walk to the shore. The cottage has electric, city water, a septic field, and four bedrooms. The property also comes with two Boston Whalers, a Sunfish, a windsurfing vessel, and a kayak.

Place: Howe Sound, British Columbia, between Whistler and Vancouver
Asking Price: $2,950,000
Acreage: 5
A 30-minute boat ride from the city of Vancouver, this island is up for sale to developers, with an approved subdvision plan.

Place: Lake Glenville, western North Carolina
Asking Price: $3,450,000
Acreage: 4.6
Located on a 1,500-acre lake in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, this island has a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house hidden by the forest canopy. It features a gourmet kitchen, antique pine floors, and covered decks that lead to a private dock. Asheville is an hour away. Atlanta is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away.

Place: Patuxent River, near Solomons, Maryland
Asking Price: $3,500,000
Acreage: 4.5
It has a 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom main house, with pool and hot tub. Then there's a 1,400-square-foot guest cottage. Finally, a two-story observatory tower built to resemble a lighthouse, with a kitchenette, shower, and spa. The island is connected to the mainland by a gated wooden bridge. The Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay four miles to the east.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with 1 comment
  • Popular
  • Categories
  • Archives