terça-feira, dezembro 23, 2008

Singapore ferris wheel

Trapped passengers evacuate Singapore ferris wheel

Rescue workers evacuate a passenger from a capsule of the Singapore Flyer which was stuck for 4hours …
Slideshow: Passengers trapped on world's largest ferris wheel SINGAPORE (Reuters) – More than 100 passengers stranded for six hours on the world's largest ferris wheel were being evacuated and given medical treatment in Singapore after the attraction ground to a halt Tuesday.

The Singapore Flyer stopped working after a short circuit in one of the wheel's motor drivers cut its power supply, a company spokeswoman said.

There were 173 people, including many tourists, trapped inside the huge tourist attraction.

The wheel started turning again more than six hours later and passengers were ushered into ambulances, a Reuters witness said.

The spokeswoman for the Flyer said the stranded passengers were given water and food throughout their ordeal.

Standing at a height of 165 metres (541 feet), the Flyer started operations in the city state in February and is 30 metres (98 feet) taller than the London Eye.

It has 28 bus-sized capsules attached to a circular frame 150 metres (492 feet) in diameter. Each capsule can accommodate 28 people.

The Flyer is part of Singapore's drive to boost tourism revenues.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee and Christophe Van der Perre; Editing by Giles Elgood)

terça-feira, dezembro 16, 2008

Internet in the future

Keyboards, DRM to become scarce in 2012
- Step aside, keyboards, laptops, and 9-to-5 jobs. A survey of more than 1,000 Internet activists, journalists, and technologists released Sunday speculates that by 2012, those quaint relics of 20th century life will fade away.

It's not a formal survey of the sort that, say, political pollsters use. Nor are computer journalists especially known for their prognosticative abilities. Still, the Pew Internet and American Life Project hopes the effort will provide a glimpse of the best current thinking about how online life will evolve in the next decade or so.

Lee Rainie and the other Pew researchers asked their survey respondents to respond to a series of questions about 2020 future scenarios, including whether the mobile phone will be the "primary" Internet connection (most agreed), whether copy protection will flourish (most disagreed), and whether transparency "heightens individual integrity and forgiveness (evenly split).

The rough consensus was that "few lines divide professional time from personal time," and that professionals are happy with the way work and play are "seamlessly integrated in most of these workers' lives."

Full article at:Internet in one decade

domingo, dezembro 14, 2008

11 Places to See Before They Disappear

11 Places to See Before They Disappear

Those of us who are concerned about earth's survival already hear the warning alarms around us on a daily basis. But this is a travel site, not an eco-sermon, so these eleven picks make up a carefully chosen list of destinations for eco-conscious travelers to enjoy. That verb "enjoy" is crucial -- for in the process of cherishing these natural and cultural wonders we renew our commitment to preserving them.

Babylon, a city of both history and legend, has been seriously damaged by war and development, and those remain the two major threats to the ancient city. The U.S. war in Iraq continues to endanger Babylon and other ancient sites in Iraq, and Iraqi officials' own plans for post-war Babylon could be just as destructive. >>more

Fenway Park
Having won the World Series, in both 2004 and 2007, the Boston Red Sox are lovable underdogs no longer-now they are certified winners. And as a result, management has, at least temporarily, stopped making noises about replacing Fenway Park. >>more

Gu Gong (The Forbidden City)
This vast complex is half a millennium old -- the emperors lived here from 1420 to 1923, beginning long before Columbus sailed to the Americas and ending right before Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic -- and the heavy traffic is taking its toll. >>more

Kootenai River
Kootenai wetlands in Idaho were almost decimated by agricultural development; part of the wetlands is now being restored by environmental groups. In Montana, the endangered and aging white sturgeon population has stopped spawning due to loss of habitat caused by the Libby Dam; unless young fish live to spawning age the species is expected to be extinct in as few as 20 years. >>more

Little Green Street
Little Green Street isn't in the center of London, but maybe that's why it survived so long-it's one of only a few intact Georgian streets left in the whole metropolis. These two-story brick houses may have survived the Blitz in World War II, but the inexorable march of gentrification is another thing altogether. >>more

Lord Howe Island
More than half of the original recorded species of birds on this island are extinct due to hunting; non-native predators such as black rats, cats, and owls; and overgrazing by farm animals. Now that the island is protected and managed, the most serious threats are oil and chemical water pollution, and groundwater pollution from sewage management. >>more

Michoacan Monarch Biosphere Reserve
Monarch butterflies face a variety of risks all along their 2,000-mile (3,220-km) migration route between Canada and Mexico. Pesticides are a constant threat, and the monarchs' low tolerance for cold and wet conditions leave them vulnerable to winter storms, increased rainfall, and other climate changes. Meanwhile, deforestation of their winter habitat could be the fatal blow for the butterflies. >>more

Taj Mahal
If the plan to close the Taj Mahal goes into effect, it would reduce this over-the-top mausoleum-built by Shah Jahan (fifth emperor of the Mughal dynasty) to mourn his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal-to a mere postcard silhouette instead of the spiritual experience it can be. >>more

The Galapagos Islands
Legions of tourists who visit the Galápagos each year have helped and hurt the islands' delicate ecosystem. But despite laws to protect the Galápagos, increased land and sea tourism, population growth (which brings pollution and habitat destruction), and invasive species continue to threaten the wildlife here. Fishing and poaching also threaten the survival of native marine life. >>more

The Pyramids of Giza
Unrestricted development and urban sprawl from nearby Cairo threaten the ancient pyramids and the Great Sphinx. Air pollution eats away at the magnificent structures, and sewage from adjacent slums weakens the plateau upon which they stand. Ongoing efforts to complete a multilane beltway around Cairo pose additional risks to these irreplaceable wonders. >>more

The fierce winter storms that pummeled Europe in December 1999 were bound to take down some property -- but did it have to be Louis XIV's showplace? >>more


segunda-feira, dezembro 01, 2008

December 1

Today is a special day for Portugal, and below is the list of other important events recorded over many years:

800 - Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.
1167 - The Lombard League is formed in northern Italy.
1420 - Henry V of England enters Paris.
1640 - End of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaims as King João IV of Portugal, thus ending a 60 year period of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the House of Habsburg (also called the Philippine Dynasty). The Spanish Habsburgs do not recognize Portugal's new dynasty, the House of Braganza, until 1668.
1768 - The slave ship Fredensborg sinks off Tromøy in Norway.
1821 - The first constitution of Costa Rica is issued.
1822 - Peter I is crowned as Emperor of Brazil.
1824 - U.S. presidential election, 1824: Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task to decide the winner (as stipulated by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution).
1826 - French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forces his way through the Turkish cordon and ascends the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.
1864 - In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirms the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.
1884 - American Old West: Near Frisco, New Mexico, deputy sheriff Elfego Baca holds off a gang of 80 Texan cowboys who want to kill him for arresting Charles McCarthy.
1913 - The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
1913 - Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after the first Balkan war, is annexed by Greece.
1918 - Transylvania unites with Romania, following the incorporation of Bessarabia (March 27) and Bukovina (November 28). National Council of Romanians in Banat had voted for union with the Kingdom of Romania. National Council of Romanians in Transylvania had voted for union with the Kingdom of Romania (see Union of Transylvania with Romania).
1918 - Iceland becomes a sovereign state, yet remains a part of the Danish kingdom.
1918 - The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) is proclaimed.
1919 - Lady Astor becomes first female member of the British Parliament to take her seat (she had been elected to that position on November 28).
1925 - World War I aftermath: The final Locarno Treaty is signed in London, establishing post-war territorial settlements.
1934 - In the Soviet Union, Politburo member Sergei Kirov is shot dead at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad by Leonid Nikolayev.
1941 - World War II: Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signs Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol.
1952 - The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgenson, the first notable case of a sexual reassignment operation.
1955 - American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1958 - Central African Republic becomes independent from France.
1958 - The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, Illinois kills 92 children and three nuns.
1959 - Cold War: Antarctic Treaty signed , which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on that continent.
1960 - Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany for accusation of attempted arson.
1961 - The independent Republic of West Papua is proclaimed in modern-day Western New Guinea.
1963 - Nagaland becomes the 16th state of India.
1964 - Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.
1965 - The Border Security Force is formed in India as a special force to guard the borders.
1969 - Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.
1971 - Cambodian Civil War: Khmer Rouge rebels intensify assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray.
1971 - Indian Army occupies part of Kashmir.
1973 - Papua New Guinea gains self government from Australia.
1974 - TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.
1974 - Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.
1981 - A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.
1981 - The AIDS virus is officially recognized.
1982 - At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.
1988 - Benazir Bhutto is appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.
1989 - Right-wing military rebel Reform the Armed forces Movement (RAM) attempts to oust Philippine President Corazon Aquino in a failed bloody coup d' etat.
1989 - Cold War: East Germany's parliament abolishes the constitutional provision granting the communist party the leading role in the state.
1990 - Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the seabed.
1991 - Cold War: Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.
1998 - Exxon announces a $73.7 billion USD deal to buy Mobil, thus creating Exxon-Mobil, the world's largest company.
2001 - Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

SOURCE: Wikipediia