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Monday, 30 November 2015

The invention of the wheel.The symbolism

We all know the importance of the wheel.But did you tou know where it cames from???Let's se it.




The invention of the wheel falls in the late Neolithic, and may be seen in conjunction with other technological advances that gave rise to the early Bronze Age. Note that this implies the passage of several wheel-less millennia even after the invention of agriculture and of pottery:
  • 9500–6500 BC: Aceramic Neolithic
  • 6500–4500 BC: Ceramic Neolithic (Halafian), earliest wooden wheels (disks with a hole for the axle)
  • c. 4500 BC: invention of the potter's wheel, beginning of the Chalcolithic (Ubaid period)
  • 4500–3300 BC: Chalcolithic, earliest wheeled vehicles, domestication of the horse
  • 3300–2200 BC: Early Bronze Age
  • 2200–1550 BC: Middle Bronze Age, invention of the spoked wheel and the chariot

Evidence of wheeled vehicles appears from the second half of the 4th millennium BC, near-simultaneously in Mesopotamia (Sumerian civilization), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe, so that the question of which culture originally invented the wheeled vehicle is still unsolved.
The earliest well-dated depiction of a wheeled vehicle (here a wagon—four wheels, two axles) is on the Bronocice pot, a c. 3500 – 3350 BC clay pot excavated in a Funnelbeaker culture settlement in southern Poland.
The oldest securely dated real wheel-axle combination, that from Stare Gmajne near Ljubljana in Slovenia (Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel) is now dated in 2σ-limits to 3340-3030 cal BC, the axle to 3360-3045 cal BC
Two types of early Neolithic European wheel and axle are known; a circumAlpine type of wagon construction (the wheel and axle rotate together, as in Ljubljana Marshes Wheel), and that of the Baden culture in Hungary (axle does not rotate). They both are dated to c. 3200-3000 BC.
In China, the wheel was certainly present with the adoption of the chariot in c. 1200 BC, although Barbieri-Low argues for earlier Chinese wheeled vehicles, c. 2000 BC.


Symbolism

The wheel has also become a strong cultural and spiritual metaphor for a cycle or regular repetition (see chakra, reincarnation, Yin and Yang among others). As such and because of the difficult terrain, wheeled vehicles were forbidden in old Tibet. The wheel in ancient China is seen as a symbol of health and strength and utilized by some villages as a tool to predict future health and success. The diameter of the wheel is indicator of one's future health.
The winged wheel is a symbol of progress, seen in many contexts including the coat of arms of Panama and the logo of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The introduction of spoked (chariot) wheels in the Middle Bronze Age appears to have carried somewhat of a prestige. The sun cross appears to have a significance in Bronze Age religion, replacing the earlier concept of a Solar barge with the more "modern" and technologically advanced solar chariot.
The wheel was also a solar symbol for the Ancient Egyptians.
The wheel is also the prominent figure on the flag of India. The wheel in this case represents law (dharma). It also appears in the flag of the Romani people, hinting to their nomadic history and their Indian origins.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Quote





“These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one's self.

To mind one's own business.

Not to want to manage other people's affairs.

To avoid curiosity.

To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.

To pass over the mistakes of others.

To accept insults and injuries.

To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.

To be kind and gentle even under provocation.

Never to stand on one's dignity.

To choose always the hardest.” 
From-Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We will be back this weekend. Sorry for our inactivity these days. The reason is that we are making some changes. See yaaaaa

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Image of the day


Saturday, Nov. 21

A man fishes on an ice-covered section of the Yenisei River, with the air temperature at about minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit), in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia on Nov. 21, 2015.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sky Q is here as the Netflix-style 4K future of Sky TV






Sky has announced one of its most major advancements in the history of the company, Sky Q.

Sky Q is a not only a new set-top box but also touted as a new way of watching television.
Primarily, Sky Q will mean Sky can start broadcasting in 4K UHD resolution. This will be a premium service that costs extra, just as HD did when Sky first launched that.
The box will allow viewers to watch and record several shows at the same time on multiple devices in the home.
The Sky Q interface is more intuitive than the current offerings, relying more on pictures to make the experience more accessible.
The divide between online catch-up TV, live broadcast and recorded shows is going to become more blurred thanks to the new user interface. It will also be able to learn a viewer's tastes to tailor the options available based on favourites. Much like Netflix and Virgin Tivo currently offer.
Sky Q is being introduced to allow Sky to stay competitive while over-the-internet services like Netflix, Apple and now BT offer on demand content for affordable prices.
Sky Q should be available from early 2016.




Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Rolls-Royce woes spread to car branad






The boss of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has complained that the crisis at its jet engine maker namesake, Rolls-Royce Plc, is damaging the image of his company's luxury cars. 
Public confusion over the relationship between the two companies -which have been separate businesses since the mid-1970s - is causing "contagion", according to Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of the car maker.
He raised fears that Rolls-Royce car owners, seeking to signal their success, might balk at the brand being mistakenly associated with financial problems at Britain's most famous engineering company.
Mr Müller-Ötvös said: "We know how famous the brand is, and as much as we have done to make clear that they are separate, for many people it is hard to see the difference. When people read about turmoil at Rolls-Royce in a newspaper it causes concern."
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is owned by BMW, while Rolls-Royce Plc is a separate listed company and a member of the FTSE 100.
Fears of damage to the car maker's brand have grown as the engineering giant has churned out a string of negative updates.
It shocked the City 18 months ago with its first profit warning in a decade. This has been by followed by a further four warnings and downgrades. The shares have plunged more than 60pc as a result, wiping more than £10bn off the company's market value.
In contrast, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, and in its last full year sold more than 4,000 cars, a record.
Mr Müller-Ötvös expressed sympathy for the plight of Rolls-Royce Plc, but warned that he was "determined to protect" the car maker after having "spent a great deal of time and money effectively resuscitating our part of the brand".
He added: "It is not supporting our business in the proper way and we are watching carefully."
The two companies are in regular contact, Mr Müller-Ötvös said, adding that Sir Ralph Robins, the former chairman of Rolls-Royce Plc, is now a member of the board of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
When the aircraft and marine engine-maker first hit problems, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars issued a press release spelling out the difference between the two. But deepening troubles at the listed company have increased concerns.
The risk to BMW-owned Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is high, according to Robert Haigh, director of Brand Finance, which analyses the value of brands. He said: "Knowing that your car bears the same name as the company that manufactured Spitfire engines is undoubtedly appealing.
"The flipside is that now that company is facing tumbling profits, a plunging price fall and thousands of job losses, the association is not so positive. For Rolls-Royce cars' status-conscious owners, this matters."
Rolls-Royce Plc declined to comment.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Best Christmas sandwiches 2015: Pret, Boots, Eat, Greggs and M&S face off in the ultimate festive fight




Much debate surrounds the origins of the Christmas Sandwich. Some claim it was invented in 1843 by a hungover Charles Dickens, while many historians argue that it dates back to the early days of the Mayan civilisation where, on the winter solstice, live turkeys would be covered in berries and flour before being ritualistically sliced and eaten.
Wherever they come from, Christmas sandwiches are now Big Business, with reports this year of turkey-based treats flying off supermarket shelves as far back as when England were still in the Rugby World Cup.
Join me as I delve into the turkey underworld to uncover which of these festive belly fillers are Fairytale of New York, and which ones are [insert X Factor winner's single here].
Pret Christmas Lunch - Lacking that signature Pret crunch (despite the promise of "crispy onion") and zesty taste upon the first bite, things get off to a worrying start for the King of Christmas Sandwiches. Further bites through the abundant, rubbery spinach are a struggle before it becomes clear that the usually dependable turkey and crumbly stuffing aren't going to save the day. A massive disappointment and Pret's crown is there for the taking.
Boots Turkey, bacon, stuffing and cranberry - There must have been a shakeup down at Boots HQ as this is a vast improvement on last year's disaster. The clearly defined and well-balanced flavoursome fillings see it go down more easily than Diego Costa in an earthquake. Touché, Boots.
Eat Festive Fullworks - With its big, fresh turkey slabs glistening in a zingy cranberry coat, this is definitely the most effortlessly handsome sandwich of the bunch, like a jacked Cate Blanchett. The Festive Fullworks strikes the fine balance of being satisfyingly meaty yet being easy on the old chops, a delight from start to finish.
Greggs Christmas Sandwich - It may lack the pizzazz of its rivals but this principled effort stuffed with generous hunks of turkey and beautifully judged servings of stuffing and cranberry is an all-round winner. The Corbyn of Christmas sandwiches.
WHSmith turkey feast - Looking quite sorry for itself like one of their town centre branches, this is a surprisingly inoffensive effort from Smiths with enough flavour to see it through to the final whistle. However, it is so unsubstantial it is forgotten as quickly as a tory pre-election promise.
M&S Turkey Feast – With all the delicious permutations of a Christmas sandwich out there it can be easy to forget that the turkey should always be the main event. Which is precisely what M&S have done here, as a powerfully fragrant sage and onion stuffing completely overpowers the turkey like Bane beating the shit out of a demoralised Batman. Stuffing is great but who in their right mind would want a whole sandwich of the, um, stuff?
M&S Turkey and pigs in blankets - Note to M&S: a small sausage resting next to a bit of bacon does not a pig in blanket make. Or did a certain Prime Minister visit these little piggies in the night? Whatever happened, this is just a sausage sandwich masquerading as a Christmas sandwich. A disgrace to the genre.
Sainsburys Turkey Feast - A pleasing initial hit of fragrant chestnut and thyme stuffing segues into a tasteless mulch of a sandwich that would cause severe delays if discarded onto a railway track. A chronic lack of turkey and cranberry too, Dickens would be rolling in his grave.
Tesco Finest Turkey Feast - Despite a pleasingly sweet centre, this is a thick gargoyle of a sandwich that is practically uneatable unless perhaps you're a shark. If you've ever wondered what it'd feel like to chew Channing Tatum to death then this is the sandwich for you.
Waitrose Turkey, stuffing and bacon – With its fistful of spinach Waitrose have clearly taken several leaves out of Pret’s book this year. But like Pret, this is a big letdown with its stingy amount of turkey and an afterthought of bacon. Don’t be fooled by the high production values.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Things You Might Not Know About Niagara Falls





It’s one of the most popular and iconic destinations in both the United States and Canada, but you may not know all of these facts about Niagara Falls.
1. NIAGARA FALLS IS ACTUALLY THREE SEPARATE WATERFALLS.
Straddling the border between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls consists of the Horseshoe (or Canadian), the American, and the Bridal Veil falls. All three waterfalls originate in the Niagara River, which stretches 36 miles from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Horseshoe Falls are the widest and highest of the three, measuring 2200 feet across with an average drop of 188 feet. The American Falls come in second at 940 feet wide and, due to large boulders at the base, drop between 90 and 120 feet. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls boast a drop that is about the same as the American Falls, but they are only 45 feet wide.
2. IT'S THE BIGGEST WATERFALL IN NORTH AMERICA, BUT NOT IN THE WORLD.
Approximately 3,160 tons of water flow over the Falls every second, working out to about 660 tons over the American and Bridal Veil falls and 2,500 tons at Horseshoe. Niagara Falls is the largest waterfall in North America in terms of both width and volume, but there are nearly 500 waterfalls around the world that are higher, such as the 1600-foot Ribbon Fall in Yosemite.
3. ALL OF THE GREAT LAKES CONNECT TO NIAGARA FALLS. 

Three of the Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, and Michigan) drain into Lake Erie, which in turn drains into the Niagara River. The River then plummets into Lake Ontario via the Falls.
4. THE FALLS ARE FAIRLY YOUNG, GEOLOGICALLY.
The same glacial forces that created the Great Lakes more than 12,000 years ago created the Niagara River and the many features that eventually made up the Falls. Melting glacial ice emptied into the Niagara River, cut across the topography, and gouged out the falls. As geographic wonders go, the falls are still in their infancy. The Appalachians began forming around 500 million years ago, while parts of Mammoth Cave are 10 million years old.
5. A FRENCH PRIEST WAS THE FIRST EUROPEAN TO DOCUMENT THE FALLS. 
In 1604, Samuel de Champlain made the first reference to a waterfall in the area, but his account isn’t very accurate. Because of the inconsistencies in his story, most historians believe that he was passing on what he heard from the native peoples he encountered. The first eyewitness documentation was Father Louis Hennepin, who saw the falls during a 1678 expedition, and later returned to France and published a book, A New Discovery, which documented the overwhelming impression the falls made on him. The word Niagara is probably derived from the Iroquois word Onguiaahra, which means “the strait.”
6. THE NIAGARA FALLS STATE PARK IS THE COUNTRY'S OLDEST.
In 1885 New York Governor David B. Hill signed legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, widely agreed to be the first state park in both New York and the United States.
7. FREDERICK LAW OLMSTEAD HELPED PRESERVE THE FALLS. 
The creator and designer of New York City’s Central Park was enamored with the beauty of Niagara Falls and prepared a report and authored a petition signed by numerous cultural and political figures that urged the state of New York to acquire private land around the falls in order to preserve the natural beauty of the area. He co-founded the Niagara Falls Association in 1883, and after the approval of the Niagara Reservation he became the park’s landscape architect along with his partner, Calvert Vaux.
8. THE FALLS PRODUCE A LOT OF ELECTRICITY.
The first hydroelectric station was built on the Niagara River in 1881, and by 1896 the plant was able to transmit electricity 26 miles away to Buffalo, one of the most important events in the history of alternating current. In 1961, after Congress passed the Niagara Redevelopment Act, the New York State Power Authority opened the Niagara Power Plant. Today the plant generates 2.4 million kilowatts of power and is the fourth largest hydroelectric power plant in the United States.
9. IT'S BEEN A TOURIST DRAW FOR OVER A CENTURY. 
© The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 made accessing the falls much easier, and by the late 19th century the area had become known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World. Today more than 12 million people visit the Falls and the surrounding areas each summer. Favorite excursions include the Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes visitors into the basin of Horseshoe Falls, and a trip 175 feet down to the very edge of the Bridal Veil falls.
10. A 63-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO PLUNGE OVER THE FALLS.
Over the years around 15 daredevils have attempted the dangerous plummet over the Falls, many in homemade barrels. But the first to attempt it was 63-year-old widow Annie Edson Taylor. Desperately poor, Taylor visited the Falls in 1901, then attempted to become rich and famous by going over Horseshoe Falls in a barrel she designed herself. Horseshoe Falls was a smart choice—the American Falls feature a shorter drop, but the trip would be considerably more dangerous, as the basin is littered with enormous boulders.
On October 24, 1901, at about 4 p.m., the barrel was set adrift in the Niagara River and went over the falls 20 minutes later. Although she survived the plunge, Taylor cautioned “Don’t try it” to other potential daredevils, and she never made the fortune she dreamed of, dying penniless in 1921.
11. HOLLYWOOD HAS LONG LOVED NIAGARA FALLS. 
In 1953 Marilyn Monroe starred in Niagara opposite Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, and Max Showalter. Monroe and Cotten portray a couple honeymooning at the falls who become entrenched in sex, lies, and murder. The falls also provided the setting for the opening of 1980’s Superman II, and Jim and Pam were married on the Maid of the Mist in a 2009 episode of The Office.

The world’s most colourful places to live in


From one side of the globe to the other, displaying every color of the rainbow, these vibrant neighborhoods are guaranteed to brighten your day.
Colourful scenes from around the world
From one side of the globe to the other, displaying every colour of the rainbow, these vibrant neighbourhoods are guaranteed to brighten your day.

Believe it or not, the colorful houses of this Caribbean town all started from a headache. When the Dutch ruled Curaçao, the governor believed his migraines were a result of the sun reflecting off the buildings’ stark white walls. An official decree commanded residents to paint their homes anything but white, resulting in the beautiful tourist attraction it is today.
Willemstad, Curaçao, Caribbean
Believe it or not, the colourful houses of this Caribbean town all started from a headache. When the Dutch ruled Curaçao, the governor believed his migraines were a result of the sun reflecting off the buildings’ stark white walls. An official decree commanded residents to paint their homes anything but white, resulting in the beautiful tourist attraction it is today.


North America's oldest city, the seaside town is famous for Jellybean Row, which features a cluster of colorful historic houses. There are various stories behind the bright paint job with some claiming they were painted to brighten up the gray surroundings while many say ship captains would assign their homes a distinct candy color to make them easier to spot from the sea.
St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
North America's oldest city, the seaside town is famous for Jellybean Row, which features a cluster of colourful historic houses. There are various stories behind the bright paint job with some claiming they were painted to brighten up the gray surroundings while many say ship captains would assign their homes a distinct candy colour to make them easier to spot from the sea.


Jam packed with shops, street markets and bright buildings, Little India packs a big punch. Located near the Serangoon River, an influx of Indian immigrants replicated their homeland with colorful buildings and vibrant street food.
Little India, Singapore
Jam packed with shops, street markets and bright buildings, Little India packs a big punch. Located near the Serangoon River, an influx of Indian immigrants replicated their homeland with colourful buildings and vibrant street food.


Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, and the Pelourinho area’s main square was once a place where slaves were punished. Despite its sordid past, it’s now a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site and as a result underwent a massive restoration process to preserve its pastel-colored 17th- and 18th-century buildings.
Pelourinho, Salvador, Brazil
Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, and the Pelourinho area’s main square was once a place where slaves were punished. Despite its sordid past, it’s now a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site and as a result underwent a massive restoration process to preserve its pastel-coloured 17th- and 18th-century buildings.


Like many of the colorful coastal towns on this list, legend has it that fishermen on the island of Burano began painting their homes in vibrant shades so they could see them in thick fog and avoid crashing into the shore after a voyage at sea. These days, residents must adhere to a strict color scheme by lodging an application with government before doing any renovations.
Burano, Venice, Italy
Like many of the colourful coastal towns on this list, legend has it that fishermen on the island of Burano began painting their homes in vibrant shades so they could see them in thick fog and avoid crashing into the shore after a voyage at sea. These days, residents must adhere to a strict color scheme by lodging an application with government before doing any renovations.


These brightly-colored houses hark back to the early 17th century where timber kits were sent up from mainland Scandinavia. Each color represented the building’s function. Commercial houses were red, hospitals were yellow, police stations were black, fish factories were blue and the telephone company was green. These days, locals like to combine the old tradition with modern colors like pink, purple and orange.
Ilulissat & Nuuk, Greenland
These brightly-coloured houses hark back to the early 17th century where timber kits were sent up from mainland Scandinavia. Each colour represented the building’s function. Commercial houses were red, hospitals were yellow, police stations were black, fish factories were blue and the telephone company was green. These days, locals like to combine the old tradition with modern colours like pink, purple and orange.


This blue-collar neighborhood, or barrio, features every color of the rainbow. The bright buildings are made from different scrap materials from shipyards and apparently were painted using leftover paints from the ships that brought immigrants to the area to remind them of home.
La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This blue-collar neighbourhood, or barrio, features every colour of the rainbow. The bright buildings are made from different scrap materials from shipyards and apparently were painted using leftover paints from the ships that brought immigrants to the area to remind them of home.


The Old Town of Stockholm was founded way back in 1252. Fortunately, the winding cobblestone streets and Medieval buildings in shades of red and gold still stand, with the addition of some newer paintjobs in shades of green and orange.
Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden
The Old Town of Stockholm was founded way back in 1252. Fortunately, the winding cobblestone streets and Medieval buildings in shades of red and gold still stand, with the addition of some newer paintjobs in shades of green and orange.


Built in the 17th and 18th centuries, the brightly colored houses that line Nyhavn’s canal are a popular tourist spot. But they were originally home to the city’s poor and rowdy pubs which were frequented by drunk sailors and prostitutes.
Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
Built in the 17th and 18th centuries, the brightly coloured houses that line Nyhavn’s canal are a popular tourist spot. But they were originally home to the city’s poor and rowdy pubs which were frequented by drunk sailors and prostitutes.


Set amid rocky coastal cliffs, the stunning Cinque Terre is made up of five fishing villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. It’s said the houses were painted in various pastel shades so fishermen working offshore could easily see their homes.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Set amid rocky coastal cliffs, the stunning Cinque Terre is made up of five fishing villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. It’s said the houses were painted in various pastel shades so fishermen working offshore could easily see their homes.


This UNESCO World Heritage city was founded in 1559 and became the world’s leading silver-extracting area in the 18th century. As a result, colonial-style homes reflective of that era shot up around the various mines. In an effort to give the city more soul, the miners painted the homes, etched into the rocky ravine, in vibrant and colorful hues.
Guanajuato, Mexico
This UNESCO World Heritage city was founded in 1559 and became the world’s leading silver-extracting area in the 18th century. As a result, colonial-style homes reflective of that era shot up around the various mines. In an effort to give the city more soul, the miners painted the homes, etched into the rocky ravine, in vibrant and colourful hues.


In the mid-1850s around 50,000 Victorian- and Edwardian-style homes were built in the Bay Area. To accentuate their architectural details, they were painted in hues of red, yellow and orange. The most visited spot is the so-called Painted Ladies.
San Francisco, California
In the mid-1850s around 50,000 Victorian- and Edwardian-style homes were built in the Bay Area. To accentuate their architectural details, they were painted in hues of red, yellow and orange. The most visited spot is the so-called Painted Ladies.


Located beneath the peaks of the Rif Mountains the village is a labyrinth of turquoise alleys. The distinctive colors date back to the 15th century when Jewish refugees settled in the area, bringing with them their tradition of painting things blue to mirror the sky and remind them of God.
Chefchaouen, Morocco
Located beneath the peaks of the Rif Mountains the village is a labyrinth of turquoise alleys. The distinctive colors date back to the 15th century when Jewish refugees settled in the area, bringing with them their tradition of painting things blue to mirror the sky and remind them of God.


Spread across a series of hillsides overlooking the Pacific coast, the historic port city is home to clusters of colorful 19th century homes. The town has a strong art culture encouraging local artists to use the buildings as their canvas with the best street artists paid for their work.
Valparaiso, Chile
Spread across a series of hillsides overlooking the Pacific coast, the historic port city is home to clusters of colourful 19th century homes. The town has a strong art culture encouraging local artists to use the buildings as their canvas with the best street artists paid for their work.


Established in 1521, San Juan is the second-oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas. The vibrant buildings date back to the 16th century when Puerto Rico was in Spanish possession. It’s famous for its blue cobblestone streets which were shipped over from Spain. In 1983, the area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Established in 1521, San Juan is the second-oldest European-founded settlement in the Americas. The vibrant buildings date back to the 16th century when Puerto Rico was in Spanish possession. It’s famous for its blue cobblestone streets which were shipped over from Spain. In 1983, the area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The capital of Albania was once nothing more than a cluster of gray, drab, communist buildings. These days you can’t help but smile when visiting the now vibrant and thriving city. In an effort to raise people’s spirits, former artist turned mayor of Tirana Edi Rama has given the city’s buildings a bright and bold makeover.
Tirana, Albania
The capital of Albania was once nothing more than a cluster of gray, drab, communist buildings. These days you can’t help but smile when visiting the now vibrant and thriving city. In an effort to raise people’s spirits, former artist turned mayor of Tirana Edi Rama has given the city’s buildings a bright and bold makeover.


Talk about opulence – in 1853 ruler Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh had the whole city painted pink for a visit from Edward, Prince of Wales, the future king of England. To this day the Rajasthani capital retains its signature rose-tinted hue across historic buildings, homes and shops.
Jaipur, India
Talk about opulence – in 1853 ruler Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh had the whole city painted pink for a visit from Edward, Prince of Wales, the future king of England. To this day the Rajasthani capital retains its signature rose-tinted hue across historic buildings, homes and shops.


For most of its history, this small Spanish town in the province of Malaga was simply a whitewashed village. Then in 2011 Sony execs painted the houses blue for a publicity stunt to promote The Smurfs movie. Afterwards, Sony offered to paint the town back, but the 221 citizens of Juzcar voted to keep it blue.
Juzcar, Spain
For most of its history, this small Spanish town in the province of Malaga was simply a whitewashed village. Then in 2011 Sony execs painted the houses blue for a publicity stunt to promote The Smurfs movie. Afterwards, Sony offered to paint the town back, but the 221 citizens of Juzcar voted to keep it blue.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

'Peace for Paris' image spreads on social media




A drawing of Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower in the form of a peace sign.

A simple drawing that overlays the Eiffel Tower with a peace symbol was widely shared on social media early Saturday, as people following the deadly Paris attacks sought to show their sympathy with the victims. 
A tweet of the image by Jean_Jullien, the name of a French graphic designer based in London, was retweeted 20,000 times. Jullien's Facebook page, which also carried the image, was shared nearly 7,000 times.
The black-on-white image replaces the fork of the typical peace image with the outline of the French landmark.

News outlets, artists, and widely followed organizations such as Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In shared the image. 
The Jean_Jullien Twitter account took credit for the drawing. 
According to Jullien's website, the illustrator has done work for The New Yorker  and Warby Parker, among others. 
"Even though my craft is graphic arts and illustration, in general I tend to focus on ideas more," he said in an interview posted on his Website. 
The major social media services showed their utility in times of crisis Friday as a series of attacks shook Paris, and at least 100 people were held hostage until police moved in. 
On Twitter, users tweeted with the hashtag #PorteOuverte to offer shelter and safety for those who were stranded in the city. Facebook encouraged Paris-based users to "check in", which triggered automatic notifications to their friends that they were safe.


Here Are The Locations Of The Paris Attacks





France has declared a state of emergency as multiple attacks with firearms and bombs swept through Paris and nearby late Friday, leaving more than 140 dead and scores wounded.
It wasn't immediately clear if the attacks were linked. No claim of responsibility had surfaced.
The city asked residents on Friday night to stay home, and police said several metro lines were closed. French President Francois Hollande called an emergency cabinet meeting, declaring a state of emergency and closing the nation's borders.
"At this moment, unprecedented terrorist attacks are underway across the city of Paris," Hollande said before the meeting. He said military personnel had been deployed across the city.
These are the locations of the attacks in and around the French capital:
 

Le Bataclan

What appears to be the deadliest attack occurred at the popular Bataclan concert venue in the 11th Arrondissement, one of the most densely populated districts in Paris. 
According to media reports, multiple gunmen dressed in black massacred more than 100 hostages with bombs and automatic weapons inside the theater. At least 15 people were killed nearby
Authorities said the siege at the theater ended late Friday and that the gunmen were dead.
The attack took place during a concert by the U.S. rock group Eagles of Death Metal. Gunfire and multiple explosions could be heard near the concert hall, The Associated Press and Reuters reported.
The Bataclan is just a few hundred yards from the former offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo. In January, gunmen forced their way into those offices, opened fire and fled, killing 10 journalists and two police officers and injuring several others.


Le Petit Cambodge

About a half-mile from Bataclan, HuffPost France reported that at least one gunman opened fire outside the Petit Cambodge restaurant, in the 10th Arrondissement. At least 11 people were reported to have been killed there, according to the AP.




Stade de France


At least three explosions took place near the Stade de France, a sports stadium outside Paris, with reports that at least one of those was a suicide bombing.

One of the explosions was audible inside the stadium during a soccer match between France and Germany.


In the video above, the crowd cheers after the explosion and the announcer explains that he believes that the sound is "firecrackers being let off in and around the stadium."

“And actually," the announcer continues, "Germany’s buildup to this match was disrupted by a bomb scare at their hotel earlier on."

The German team was evacuated from their hotel in Paris Friday morning following an anonymous threat. By midday, the team was allowed to return, The Guardian reported.

Following the explosion outside the stadium, Hollande, who was attending the match, was evacuated. 

Les Halles and the Louvre Museum


There were reports of additional shooting at Les Halls shopping mall in central Paris, and in the area near the famous Louvre Museum. It was unclear if anyone was killed or injured.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Cheap hoverboards keep exploding, and the damage costs are starting to add up




Soar Boards hoverboard

Hoverboards are blowing up in popularity. They are also literally blowing up, at least in the United Kingdom. Multiple accounts of hoverboard devices exploding have been reported in the country.
There have been at least two cases of the popular two-wheeled devices experiencing electrical issues that result in explosions. In first occurrence reported on October 11, one of the rideables caught fire while charging in a bedroom and produced a loud bang. The two people in the house escaped through a first-floor window to avoid the blast.
Later in the month, a family in Kent had a similar experience that produced considerably more damage. The hoverboard was charging in the kitchen when it began flaming. The owner of the board told the Daily Mail he thought about attempting to put out the fire when a firework-like flare shot out. Moments later, the board essentially detonated like a bomb. The explosion resulted in nearly $40,000 in damages, though no one was injured.
The London Fire Brigade responded to both incidents, and told the Daily Dot that its investigations into the cause of the fires are ongoing but it believes the battery pack to be at fault. They also cautioned that it's too early to say if the issue is specific to any particular model or brand of hoverboard. 
Likewise, Electrical Safety First Media Relations Executive Christina Copp told the Daily Dot that the issue isn't the board itself but the charging unit. 
"There are no particular brands or models identified as being particularly prone to this problem, but it does seem to be revolving around the cheaper end of the market," she said.
A spokesperson from the London Fire Brigade confirmed this, stating, "Our concern is that cheap versions of the product are available on the Internet and people are buying them without knowing how safe they are."
The boards in question are believed to have been sold with substandard battery packs. When incorrectly charged, the packs damage the internal structure of the battery. Copp said this can result in thermal runaway, "where basically the battery starts to discharge into itself and heats up. As the battery heats up it releases further energy, which causes a further increase in temperature, releasing more energy and so on. This continues until the battery explosively ruptures."
Both of the reported cases of explosions took place while the hoverboards were connected and charging, and the London Fire Brigade spokesperson urged any device owners to “especially keep an eye on their devices whilst they are on charge and not to leave them charging unattended or whilst they are asleep."
But Copp said thermal runaway can occur even when the device isn't plugged in—and will almost always lead to a rupture or explosion.
"This can happen extremely rapidly, or it can take hours, so it could possibly occur during use or even after it’s been stored away" she said. "This is a known issue with lithium ion batteries. Of course, this is not guaranteed to happen, but it is a significant risk, as we see more and more in the news."
While the exploding boards have received considerable attention, in part due to the resulting destruction, there has been at least one other documented incident of what appears to be a similar incident. A Redditor going by the username /u/icefreezposted images of his hoverboard bursting into flames. In the captions of the images, he explains that the batteries exploded twice after the fire started, which is in line with what happened in the other occurrences.
If you have a hoverboard with a faulty charger, Copp warned there is "pretty much no way to avoid" the risk. "If you change the charger, you’ve still got a substandard battery unit, and the battery units are not intended to be user-replaceable," she said.
In response to the recent issues, the city of Salford removed 90 hoverboards from a wholesaler in Greater Manchester area because of failure to comply with British safety standards. The boards were confiscated to be inspected further, but the Salford City Council declined to identify the wholesaler from which they were taken.
The London Fire Brigade expressed concerned with the holidays approaching that more of the low-quality might land in the homes of consumers without them being fully aware of the risks. " If anyone is planning to buy a hoverboard as Christmas present, we’d recommend they purchase it from a reputable retailer," a spokesperson said.
Copp concurred, stating, "We would advise to be careful buying them online and try to use reputable shops."

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Samsung rumoured to be working on affordable fitness tracker





Samsung Gear Fit Most of Samsung's wearable devices are for the mid and high-end segment. The company could now be developing a fitness tracker for the entry-level market, which is primarily dominated by Fitbit, Misfit and Xiaomi.
Bearing model number SM-R150, Samsung's upcoming wearable is internally codenamed Triathlon, which indicates that it could be an activity or fitness tracking device. According to exclusive information obtained by Sammobile, Samsung's fitness tacker could bundle similar features seen in Xiaomi's Mi Band that just costs $15 (£10).
Xiaomi recently unveiled the second generation Mi Band, which will be available for purchase at CN ¥99 (£10, $15) in China from 11 November. It is also expected to be released in European and Asian markets in the coming months.
While hardware details of the device are scanty as of now, the disclosure suggests that it will not pack the heart rate sensor, as its model number is lower than the Gear Fit SM-R350. The Gear Fit, company's fitness wristband belonging to Samsung's Gear series wearable, incorporates the heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope.

As Samsung recently updated the S Health and Gear apps for the non-Galaxy devices powered with Android 4.4 and above, it would not be surprising to see the upcoming fitness tracker is compatible with all Android devices including the Galaxy series.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

How To Make A Smartphone-Powered Hologram




Smartphone Hologram
Photograph by Bryan Edwards
Holograms aren’t just for droids and dead rappers. You can make your own with a piece of transparency paper and a four-sided hologram video. Properly folded, the transparency will combine the images on a phone or tablet screen to create “a reflection that gives you the illusion of an object hovering in space,” says Alex Cronin, a physicist at the University of Arizona.

Make the Hologram

Stats

  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Cost: $0.30-$1
  • Difficulty: Easy

Tools and Materials

  • Sheet of transparency paper
  • Pencil, pen, or marker
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Scissors
  • Smartphone or tablet

Instructions

©
Hologram Template
Levi Sharpe
Use this template to fold the transparency paper into a prism. Cut along the solid black lines and crease along the red lines.
  1. Copy the online template onto the transparency, with a radius of 4 inches or more.
  2. Cut along the solid black lines, and crease along the red lines.
  3. Tape the two opposite sides together to make a prism.
  4. Open a four-sided hologram video on your smartphone or tablet. We have one of these videos below, and you can find more by searching for "hologram video" (this is a particularly fun one).
  5. Place the small opening of the prism in the video’s center. Look through the side.

Instructions—Without a Template

No printer for the template? No problem!
  1. Use a compass and pen to draw a circle with at least a 4-inch radius on the transparency paper. Cut it out with scissors.
  2. Mark five dots around the circle, each the radius’ distance apart, and use a ruler to draw a line connecting them.
  3. Cutting along the lines, discard the rounded edges and the remaining third of the circle.
  4. Fold the trimmed transparency in fourths to make four separate equilateral triangles. Cut off their tips about an inch from the bottom and tape the two opposite sides together to make a prism.
  5. Open a four-sided hologram video on your smartphone or tablet. We have one of these videos below, and you can find more by searching for "hologram video" (this is a particularly fun one).
  6. Place the small opening of the prism in the video’s center. Look through the side.

More Optics Hacks

A smartphone can perform other optical tricks. Harvest a focus lens from a laser pointer, and attach it to the phone’s camera with some wire. The lens will magnify images to make a DIY microscope (full instructions here). Or stick a few pieces of clear tape over the flash, and color them with blue and purple Sharpie markers. This filter blocks out most visible light and leaves only the ultraviolet spectrum, turning the phone's flashlight function into a blacklight (full instructions here).

This article was originally published in the November 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title "Smartphone Hologram."