Saturday, 5 December 2009
"Black and Gold" is the lead single from Sam Sparro's eponymous first album. The song has been remixed by Max Sanna and Steve Pitron, Paul Epworth, Al Usher, Kings of the Universe, Komatic and Russ Chimes. The original version of the single was made available on iTunes on March 23, 2008, with the entire album available from March 31. On April 7, the CD, 12" and limited edition 7" singles were released.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Animal photography is one of the most challenging and rewarding form of photography. Stalking wildlife animal to take pictures of them is quite difficult, because in any moment your subject could run or worst attack you. You need patience and time when photographing animals, especially if you are want a particular position and scene. Even as animal images can be taken using basic equipment, excellent animal photography needs special equipment, such as macro lenses for insects, underwater cameras for marine life and long focal length lenses for birds. From land based animals, marine mammals, and birds, I collect 28 stunning animal images with excellent wildlife photography. I hope you enjoy this inspirational showcase.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
RICE FIELDS OF JAPAN
Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan .
But this is no alien creation - the designs have been cleverly planted.
Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye.
Instead, different colours of rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the paddy fields.
As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.
A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants, the colours created by
using different varieties, in Inakadate in Japan the largest and finest work is grown in the Aomori village of Inakadate,
600 miles north of Toyko, where the tradition began in 1993.
The village has now earned a reputation for its agricultural artistry and this year, the enormous pictures of Napoleon and
a Sengoku-period warrior, both on horseback, are visible in a pair of fields adjacent to the town hall.
More than 150,000 visitors come to Inakadat, where just 8,700 people live, and every summer to see the extraordinary murals.
Each year hundreds of volunteers and villagers plant four different varieties of rice in late May across huge swathes of paddy fields.
Napolean on horseback can be seen from the skies, created by precision planting and months of planning between
villagers and farmers in Inkadate.
Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife Osen appear in fields in the town of Yonezawa, Japan
And over the past few years, other villages have joined in with the plant designs.
Another famous rice paddy art venue is in the town of Yonezawa in the Yamagata prefecture.
This year's design shows the fictional 16th-century samurai warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife Osen, whose
lives feature in television series Tenchijin.
Various artworks have popped up in other rice-farming areas of Japan this year, including designs of deer dancers.
Smaller works of crop art can be seen in other rice-farming areas of Japan such as this image of Doraemon
and deer dancers.
The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow-leafed Kodaimai rice along with their local
green-leafed Tsugaru Roman variety to create the coloured patterns between planting and harvesting in September.
The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square metres of paddy fields.
From ground level, the designs are invisible, and viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village
office to get a glimpse of the work.
Rice-paddy art was started there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that grew out of meetings
of the village committee.
Closer to the image, the careful placement of thousands of rice plants in the paddy fields can be seen.
The different varieties of rice plant grow alongside each other to create the masterpieces.
In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki every year.
But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted more attention.
In 2005 agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous rice paddy art.
A year later, organizers used computers to precisely plot planting of the four differently coloured rice
varieties that bring the images to life.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American recording artist. After being signed to and quickly dropped from Def Jam Records at age 19, she began performing in the rock music scene of New York City’s Lower East Side. During this time, she was also working at Interscope Records as a songwriter for several established acts, including Akon, who, after hearing Gaga sing, convinced Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine to sign her to a joint deal with the label and Akon’s Kon Live Distribution label.
Her debut album The Fame, was released in August 2008 and was a critical and commercial success. In addition to receiving generally positive reviews, it has gone to number one in four countries, also topping the Billboard Top Electronic Albums chart in the United States. The album’s first two singles, “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”, have become international number-one hits, and the former was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. In 2009, after having opened for New Kids on the Block and the Pussycat Dolls, Gaga embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour.
Gaga is inspired by glam rockers such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as pop singers such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She is also inspired by fashion, which she claims is an essential component to her songwriting and performances. To date she has sold over 20 million digital singles and more than four million albums worldwide.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
class="entry-header" id="disqus_post_title" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial; font-weight: normal; font-style: inherit; font-size: 2.25em; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 35px; ">Some Counter-Intuitive Facts about Loneliness.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
It is not length of life, but depth of life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Because there is a big difference between living and merely existing…
- Educate yourself until the day you die. – The time and energy you invest in your education will change your life. You are a product of what you know. The more knowledge you acquire, the more control you have over your life.
- Take good care of your body. – Your body is the greatest tool you’ll ever own. It impacts every step you take and every move you make. Nourish it, exercise it, and rest it.
- Spend as much time as possible with the people you love. – Human beings are emotional creatures. Family and close friends makeup the core of your emotional support system. The more you nurture them, the more they will nurture you.
- Be a part of something you believe in. – This could be anything. Some people take an active role in their local city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in, and others find passion in their careers. In each case the psychological outcome is the same. They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in. This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.
- Excel at what you do. – There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right. Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies. Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.
- Live below your means. – Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects. Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Always live well below your means.
- Be self-sufficient. – Freedom is the greatest gift. Self-sufficiency is the greatest freedom.
- Build a comfortable, loving household. – Home is where the heart is. Your home should be comfortable and lined with love. It should be a place that brings the whole family together.
- Always be honest with yourself and others. – Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless.
- Respect elders. Respect minors. Respect everyone. – There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.
- Mix it up. Try different things. – Seek as many new life experiences as possible and be sure to share them with the people you love. After all, your life’s story is simply a string of experiences. The more experiences you have, the more interesting your story gets.
- Take full ownership of your actions. – Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
- Over-deliver on all your promises. – Some people habitually make promises they are just barely able to fulfill. They promise perfection and deliver mediocrity. If you want to boost your personal value, do the exact opposite. Slightly under-sell your capabilities so that you’re always able to over-deliver. It will seem to others like you’re habitually going above and beyond the call of duty.
- Listen more. Talk less. – The more you listen and the less you talk, the more you will learn and the less you will miss.
- Focus more on less. – Think in terms of Karate: A black belt seems far more impressive than a brown belt. But does a brown belt really seem any more impressive than a red belt? Probably not to most people. Remember that society elevates experts high onto a pedestal. Hard work matters, but not if it’s scattered in diverse directions. Focus on less and master it all.
- Exploit the resources you do have access to. – The average person is usually astonished when they see a physically handicap person show intense signs of emotional happiness. How could someone in such a restricted physical state be so happy? The answer rests in how they use the resources they do have. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.
- Savor the natural joys of simple pleasures. – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free. They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times. They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness. It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love. Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.
- Reflect on your goals and direction. – Not doing so is committing to wasteful misdirection. The process of self reflection helps maintain a conscious awareness of where you’ve been and where you intend to go, giving you the ability to realign your trajectory when necessary.
- Leave time for spontaneous excursions. – Sometimes opportunity knocks at unexpected times. Make sure you have enough flexibility in your schedule to respond accordingly.
- Be here now. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don’t miss it.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
Khalki is a small mountainous island, of about 400 inhabitants, that covers a surface area of 28km. Its name most probably reflects the copper (chalkos in greek) once mined there. It has ony one settlement. Emborio or Nimborio,a little harbour town consisting of 2 and 3-story Venetian style renovated mansions, overshadowed by a Byzantine bell tower and a dramatic backdrop of rugged mountains guarded by 3 ruined windmills (Vassilakio, Aggelakio and Andrikakio). On the main road leading to and from the harbour you can see the bust of Alexandros Diakos, the first officer to fall defending the ideals of democracy and freedom in the Dodecanese islands during WWII. Do not miss the church of St. Nicholas, built in 1861, with its magnificent bell tower whose base leans over an arch made of ancien marbles taken from a temple dedicated to Apollo, as well as the ecclesiastical museum that exists there. Furthermore, in Emborio you can see the clock tower - a donation of the expatriate Chalkian community - that stands before the Town Hall, and the building of Hiona Vouvali, once used for storing sponge supplies. Ten minutes away from Emborio is Pondamos beach, a sandy length of coastline framing crystal clear waters. But there is more undiscovered shoreline, as Chalki is surrounded by a string of pure white beaches (some within walking distance and other best reached by boat). Hire a little motor boat to take you to the beaches of Yiali, Trachia, Kania or Areta and to the islet of Alimia. (St.
And for those feeling energetic, even bustling Rhodes is reachable in a day, if you're up to that early start and all that hustle and bustle!
Khalki possibly got its name from the copper (in Greek chalkos) workshops that were there in ancient times. The Titans were according to Greek mythology the first inhabitants of all the surrounding islands. The Pelasgians lived here for a long time, leaving several constructions behind, before they were succeeded by the Carians, the Dorians and later the Phoenicians. Aretanassa, the illustrious queen of Halki lived here once, before being exiled in Karpathos where she committed suicide after her husband's death. Remains of three temples of the god Apollo are preseved at the location of Pefkia, today's Nimborio (along the coastline). The god was worshipped here with exceptional honours. During the flourishing period of the Athenian state, Chalki regularly paid the alliance taxes. In the 7th century it is concered by the Arabs, until 825 when it is liberated. Venetians and Genovians arrived on the island in 1204 and repaired the ancient acropolis, building at the same time a fortress on the island of Alimia. In 1523 Chalki was conquered by the Turks. It takes part in the 1821 revolution, it is conquered by the Italians in 1912 and finally is annexed to Greece along with the rest of the Dodecanese.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site and attraction in south-western Turkey in the Denizli Province , which in history is known as a south-eastern part of Greece . Pamukkale is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which enjoys a temperate climate over the greater part of the year.
The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2700 meters long and 160m high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away.
The tectonic movements that took place in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin triggered frequent earthquakes, and gave rise to the emergence of a number of very hot springs. The water from one of these springs, with its large mineral content — chalk in particular — created Pamukkale.
Apart from some radioactive material, the water contains large amounts of hydrogen carbonate and calcium, which leads to the precipitation of calcium bi-carbonate. Every second 250 liters of hot water arises from this spring, precipitating 2.20 grams of chalk per liter of water or 0.55 kilograms of chalk every second. In the course of time some sources dried up because of earthquakes, while new ones arose in the neighbourhood.
The effect of this natural phenomenon has left thick white layers of limestone and travertine cascading down the mountain slope resembling a frozen waterfall. One type of these formations consists of crescent-shaped travertine terraces with a shallow layer of water, lying in a step-like arrangement down the upper one-third of the slope, with the steps ranging from 1m to 6 meters in height. The other form consists of stalactites, propping up and connecting these terraces.
The oldest of these rocks is crystalline marble, quartzites and schists. These date back to the Pliocene period, while the top layer belongs to the Quaternary. Fresh deposits of calcium carbonate give the site a dazzling white look.
These sources were well-known in the Antiquity. They were described by the Roman architect Vitruvius. The Phrygian Greeks built Hierapolis on top of the hill. They ascribed medical properties to the spring water, bestowed by the gods, especially Asklepios (demigod of medicine) and his daughter Hygieia (goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation), under the protection of Apollo (god of medicine and healing).
Pamukkale is a tourist attraction. It is recognized as a World Heritage Sites together with Hierapolis. A few other places in the world resemble it, including the Mammoth Hot Springs in the USA and Huanglong in Sichuan Province of China (another UNESCO World Heritage Site). Hierapolis-Pamukkale was made a World Heritage Site in 1988.
Before the World Heritage designation, Pamukkale went unprotected for decades in the late 20th century and hotels were built on top of the site, destroying parts of the remains of Hierapolis. Hot water from the springs was taken to fill the hotel pools and the waste water was spilled over the monument itself, turning it brownish. A tarmac road ramp was built into the main part. People walked around with shoes, washed themselves with soap and shampoo in the pools and rode bikes and motorbikes up and down the slopes.
By the time UNESCO turned its attention to Pamukkale, the site was losing its attraction. Officials made attempts to restore the site. The hotels were demolished, and the road ramp was covered with artificial pools which today are accessible to bare-footed tourists, unlike most other parts of the site. A small trench was carved along the outside of the ramp to collect the water and prevent it from spilling. The brownish parts have been left to be bleached by the sun without being covered by water to diminish the problem. Therefore many pools are empty. Others parts are covered with water for an hour or two, on a rotating schedule.
The underground volcanic activity which causes the hot springs also forced carbon dioxide into a cave. The result was called the Plutonium meaning place of the god, Pluto. Tadpoles can be found in the pools.
The Library of Celsus was comissioned by the Consul Julius Aquila as a mausoleum for his father, Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, Roman governor of the Asian Provinces. It may be that Celsus was granted heroic honors, which would furthur justify the expense.
The monument was constructed between 110 and 135 AD, after which Celsus was buried in a niche on the right side of the back wall.
With a few centuries of its construction a fire destroyed the reading room and the library fell into disuse. Around 400 AD, the courtyard below the exterior steps was converted into a pool. The facade collapsed in an earthquake in the 10th century.
The Library of Celsus was raised from the rubble to its present splendid state by F. Hueber of the Austrian Archaeological Institute between 1970 and 1978.
The ancient city of Ephesus (Turkish: Efes), located near the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey, was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, especially for travelers on Mediterranean cruises. Ephesus is also a sacred site for Christians due to its association with several biblical figures, including St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary.
An inscription tells us the temple was erected around 118 AD by one Publius Quintilius (who is otherwise unknown).
The name "Temple of Hadrian" is not really accurate: it is more a monument than a temple, and was dedicated not only to Hadrian but also Artemis and the people of Ephesus.
The temple was partially destroyed in the 4th century, and it was during the course of restorations that the four decorative reliefs were added to the lintels of the interior of the porch.
The Great Theater, part of the archaeological site of Ephesus, is a dramatic and impressive sight. It is included in our list of sacred destinations for its biblical significance: this is traditionally where St. Paul preached against the pagans.
Construction of the Great Theater of Ephesus may have begun during Hellenistic times: Lysimachus (d.281 BC) is traditionally credited with building the theater, but so far there is no archaeological evidence for its existence before 100 BC. However, Lysimachus may have chosen the building site and begun the preparation of the site, a process that required 60 years of digging in the mountainside.
A small Hellenistic theater was probably built here around 200 BC, but the theater seen today dates almost exclusively from Roman times. Constructed primarily in the 1st century (beginning about 40 AD), it was expanded periodically and used continously until the 5th century.
Earthquakes damaged the theater in the 4th century, after which it was only partially repaired. By the 8th century, the theater was incorporated into the city defense system.
Today, the theater is restored and is put to use every May during the Selçuk Ephesus Festival of Culture and Art.
The Ephesus Museum (Efes Müzesi), located near the entrance to the Basilica of St. John in Selçuk, displays excavations from the ancient city of Ephesus. The main highlights are two statues of the Ephesian Artemis, frescoes and mosaics.
The first exhibit one comes to in the museum is the Roman Period House Finds Room, with artifacts from the Slope Houses owned by upper-class Ephesians. Among the interesting household items recovered are a bronze Eros with the Dolphin from a 2nd-century fountain and a faded 3rd-century fresco of Socrates. There is also a ithyphallic figurine of Bes, found near the brothel. Of Egyptian origin, Bes was a protector of motherhood and childbearing.
Also in display in the museum is the Ivory Frieze from an upper story of one of the Slope Houses, which depicts the emperor Trajan and his Roman soldiers battling barbarians. Other everyday items include a collection of medical and cosmetic tools, used by the important medical school in Roman Ephesus, and a wall of portraits of Ephesian physicians.
One of the most impressive and illuminating sections in the museum is dedicated to the mother goddess and dominated by two colossal statues of Artemis. One is called "Beautiful Artemis" and dates from the 1st century AD; the other is "Great Artemis" from the 2nd century AD.
Both Artemis statues feature rows of intriguing protuberances, which most scholars now think are bull testicles, but were previously thought to be breasts or eggs. Regardless, they are all symbols related to fertility. (See Artemis of Ephesus for more details on the goddess and her image.)
Recoveries from monumental fountains include a beautiful headless Aphrodite, a head of Zeus dating to the 1st century AD, a statue of a youthful Dionysus with a satyr and statues of Dionysus with members of the imperial family (these last are from the Fountain of Trajan).
More monumental artifacts are displayed in the courtyards, including the pediment from the Temple of Augustus (Isis Temple). It has been reassembled using the original statues, which had been used in the Fountain of Polio after the temple was destroyed. Also out here is a Sarcophagus with Muses from the 3rd century AD and the Ephesus Monument, inscribed with tax regulations, which was issued by Emperor Nero in 62 AD.
The final exhibit contains Roman sculptures, the most important of which is a frieze from the Temple of Hadrian. A copy of the frieze is in the original position on the elegant temple among the ruins. The frieze depicts the founding of Ephesus, the birth of the cult of Artemis, and the flight of the Amazons. Some of the original sections are now in Vienna.