Safe at Home…at Last

•October 22, 2014 • 2 Comments

I’ve torn out my alarm system and de-registered from the Neighborhood Watch.

I’ve got two Pakistani flags raised in my front garden, one at each corner and the black flag of ISIS in the center.

The local police, CIA, NSA, FBI, and other intelligence services are all watching my house 24/7.

I’ve never felt safer…

Magnificent Trees

•October 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

125+ Year Old Rhododendron “Tree” In Canada

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This huge 125-year-oldold rhododendron is technically not a tree – most are considered to be shrubs. You can find out more about it here. (Image credits: reddit)

144-Year-Old Wisteria in Japan

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At 1,990 square meters (about half an acre), this huge wisteria is the largest of its kind in Japan. Image credits: tungnam.com.hk

Wind-Swept Trees in New Zealand

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These trees on Slope Point, the southern tip of New Zealand, grow at an angle because they’re constantly buffeted by extreme Antarctic winds. (Image credits: Seabird Nz)

Beautiful Japanese Maple In Portland, Oregon

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Image credits: Tom Schwabel

Blooming Cherry Trees in Bonn, Germany

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This beautiful tunnel of cherry blossoms blooms in Bonn, Germany in April. (Image credits: Adas Meliauskas)

Angel Oak In John’s Island in South Carolina

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The Angel Oak in South Carolina stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall and is estimated to be more than 1400 or 1500 years old. (Image credits: Daniela Duncan)

Flamboyant Tree, Brazil

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The flamboyant tree is endemic to Madagascar, but it grows in tropical areas around the world. (Image credits: Salete T Silva)

Dragonblood Trees, Yemen

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The dragonblood tree earned its fearsome name due to its crimson red sap, which is used as a dye and was used as a violin varnish, an alchemical ingredient, and a folk remedy for various ailments. (Image credits: Csilla Zelko)

The President, Third-Largest Giant Sequoia Tree in the World, California

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President, located in Sequoia National Park in California, stands 241 ft (73m) tall and has a ground circumference of 93 ft (28m). It is the third largest giant sequoia in the world (second if you count its branches in addition to its trunk). (Image credits: Michael Nichols)

Maple Tree Tunnel in Oregon

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Image credits: Ian Sane

Rainbow Eucalyptus in Kauai, Hawaii

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Image credits: jwilsonnorton

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The rainbow eucalyptus, which grows throughout the South Pacific, is both useful and beautiful. It is prized for both the colorful patches left by its shedding bark and for its pulpwood, which is used to make paper. (Image credits: Christopher Martin)

Jacarandas in Cullinan, South Africa

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These beautiful Jacarandas, with their violet flowers, grow in South Africa. (Image credits: Elizabeth Kendall)

Avenue of Oaks at Dixie Plantation in South Carolina

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This avenue of oak trees was planted sometime in the 1790s on Dixie Plantation in South Carolina. (Image credits: Lee Sosby)

Baobab Trees in Madagascar

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These baobabs in Madagascar are excellent at storing water in their thick trunks to use during droughts. (Image credits: confitalsurf)

The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland

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(Image credits: Stephen Emerson)

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Ireland’s Dark Hedges were planted in the 18th century. This stunning beech tree tunnel was featured on Game of Thrones as well. (Image credits: Christopher Tait)

Perspective on Wine

•October 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I See Something in You

•October 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Dananjaya Hettiarachchi from Sri Lanka is the winner of the 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking competition held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Largest Salt Flat in the World

•October 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi) and a major tourist destination in Bolivia, devoid of wildlife or vegetation but home to an estimated 10-billion tons of salt.

What is no less incredible is that people who visit this amazing place, stay. How does one build something in the middle of vast emptiness? The answer is astonishing.

This exotic part of the world is in for a real treat, and a stay in one of the world’s most unique hotel is a real experience. A lack of conventional construction materials in the area means that hotels are built entirely with salt blocks cut from the Salar itself. The most famous is Palacio de Sal, Spanish for "Palace of Salt".

The hotel is made of 1 million 4-inch salt blocks, used for the floor, walls, ceiling and furniture, including beds, tables, chairs and sculptures. The hotel has a dry sauna and a steam room, a saltwater pool and whirlpool baths for guests to relax in and enjoy this unreal place.

Imagine what it’s like, sleeping on salt beds, sitting on salt chairs and eating at salt tables. How beautiful everything in this hotel is, although that beauty is nothing compared to the views.

The salt flats are so white and clear that they often show a perfect reflection of the sky and the objects above them. In fact, because the Salar is so flat and has such a strong reflection, similar to that of ice sheets, it is used for calibrating the distance-measurement equipment of satellites in space!

The white, endless flats also offer visitors a unique opportunity to take some truly mind-bending pictures. With no other objects in sight, the human eye loses its ability to establish a proper field of depth.

The results are some of the most creative and bizarre pictures you will ever see.

The Salar is truly a place like no other, a magical kingdom of salt and beauty where one can drive on the endless flats and see the sky both above and below him. It is just one of many places on earth that prove that beauty has no rules and that nature always has one more trick up her sleeve.

On Second Thought, Maybe I was Wrong

•October 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Phone Over the Generations

•October 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 
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