Jun 30, 2007

World’s Smallest School

An elementary school in China has just one teacher and one pupil.
Li Yongchun, 61, has been teaching at the school in Dasu village, Longjing region for over 25 years.
He explained: “At first, the school had more than 400 students, but in the ’90s, more and more families migrated from the mountain village to make a living outside, and there were just over 10 students left.”
“In 2000, the city education bureau decided to shut down the school after the graduation of the last student. New kids can register and board at another school in nearby Sanhe town, which is a two-hour drive away.”World’s Smallest SchoolBut the family of a third grader named Han Hongyang can’t afford the boarding fee, so she became the last remaining student.
“We have been like this for more than half a year. She is my only student, and I’m her only teacher,” says teacher Li.
Teacher Li teaches his student six subjects - Chinese, Mathematics, Korean, History, Geography and PE.
“During class breaks, we play badminton, ping pong and football, which is a bit hard for a 61-year-old,” says Li.

In another half a year, teacher Li is to retire, and the city education bureau says then it will send another teacher to take care of the only student till her graduation, reports City Evening Post.
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Largest crocodile in the world

Largest crocodile
Largest crocodile
Largest crocodile
Largest crocodile
Largest crocodile

This is the largest crocodile ever displayed in the U.S. This is when he was alive and on display at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological park.
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Jun 29, 2007

The Jewel of Dubai - The Rotating Tower

graceful rotation

Morphing into mesmerizing shapes under the sublime light of the moon, wooing romantic couples with a whir of the wind turbines, making the tenants slightly dizzy by the graceful rotation of their bedroom’s scenery - this is radical enough to attract scores of tourists, if successfully built. Jewel of Dubai A skyscraper built of rotating platters with built-in wind turbines.The tallest tower in the world to be Burj Dubai.
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10 Reasons To Plant Trees

1. Trees save energy and money. Just three trees strategically planted around your home can cut your air conditioning bill in half.

2. Trees save tax payers. Trees in a city slow storm water runoff and reduce the need for storm sewers. Tree shade also help cool municipal buildings, lowering electricity bills.

3. Trees cool our cities. Urban "heat islands" are directly related to massive tree-cutting for development.

4. Trees clean our water and air. From low level ozone in our cities to pesticide and fertiziler runoff from our farms, trees absorb harmful pollutants.

5. Trees help community life. Tree planting and community based forestry can add significantly to a local community's sustainable economy while restoring the environment.

6. Trees protect soil. By holding soil in place with their root systems, by deflecting pounding rain with their canopies, and by adding nutrients each fall with their leaves, trees are crucial to keeping and improving our soil.

7. Trees provide habitat for species of many kinds -- including endangered species. A key project of American Forests is "Trees for Tigers" in the Russian Far East that is restoring habitat for the endangered Siberian tiger.

8. Trees can pay your "carbon debt". Planting just 30 Global ReLeaf trees will absorb the amount of carbon dioxide that is generated in the production of energy for the average American lifestyle each year.

9. Trees provide clean water and natural flood control. Forests act as natural reservoirs, and they protect watersheds, providing clean water for cities, bays and rivers.

10. Trees are a beautiful part of our lives. From striking individual trees that are of historic significance or are simply large and majestic, to a grove of trees in a city park, trees enrich our lives by simply being there. Trees are not just a key to the natural ecosystem -- trees are an essential part of community life.
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World’s Oldest Car Headed For Auction

Car Headed For AuctionThe world’s oldest running car is set to cross the auction block at Pebble Beach in August.

The catchy-sounding De Dion-Bouton et Trapardoux was built in France in 1884, and amazingly, it’s a three owner car. Among its many credentials, “La Marquise” is a steam-powered four-wheeled car that is believed to have won the first automobile race.

Top speed on the car is a startlingly high 38 miles-per-hour, which must feel decidedly exciting given its primitive construction and solid rubber tires. To reach that heady speed, drivers need to first stoke the car with coal, wood, paper, or other readily combustible materials, and then wait for around a half-hour to generate enough steam for the car to get rolling.

The De Dion-Bouton et Trapardoux is expected to hammer for between $1.5 and $2 million
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Indian miniature artist Jaspal show off Taj Mahal

Taj MahalIndian miniature artist Jaspal Singh Kalsi displays his creation of 1.5 cm high (0.59 inch) wooden replica of the Taj Mahal, in Amritsar, India, Monday, June 25, 2007. The Taj Mahal is among the leading contenders to be the new Seven Wonders of the World as a massive poll enters its final month with votes already cast by more than 50 million people, organizers say. The seven winners will be announced July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal. (AP Photo/ Aman Sharma)
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Jun 22, 2007

World's Largest Digging Machine

Digging Machine

This is the largest digging machine (or trencher or rotating shovel) in the world. It was built by Krupp and is shown here crossing a road in Germany on the way to its destination, an open air coal mine. Although at the mine the treads are unnecessary, it was cheaper to make the machine self-propelled than to try and move it with conventional hauling equipment. Some factoids:

The machine is 95 meters high and 215 meters long (almost 2.5 football fields in length)
Weight is 45,500 tons (that's equivalent to a bumper to bumper line of jeeps 80 miles long)
It took 5 years to design and manufacture at a cost of $100 million
Maximum digging speed is 10 meters per minute
Can move more than 76,000 cubic meters of coal, rock, and earth per day

Digging Machine
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Jun 21, 2007

Underwater Sculpture Park

Underwater Sculpture Park
The aim of the Sculpture Park is to create a unique space which highlights environmental processes and celebrates local culture. By creating an artificial reef of sculptures which depict Grenadian peoples and their history, the project fulfils its dual purpose of protecting the marine environment and illustrating the richness of Grenada.
Underwater Sculpture Park
Underwater Sculpture Park
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Jun 20, 2007

5 sets of twins in one class of 20

At an early age children are taught that two plus two makes four.

But pupils at one primary school have quickly learned to expand that basic calculation. And now they know that five pairs of twins makes ten toddlers - and one very confused teacher.

The children also know that their twinned friends make up an entire half of the pupils in one class at Pembroke Dock Community School in Wales.
Fran Thomas is in charge of calling out the repetitive register every morning for her nursery class of 20.

She is already getting used to doing a double take with the children who were all born within six months and live less than a mile from each other.

She said: "It was a shock when they all arrived for school. We couldn’t believe it - it was like we were seeing double.

"One set of twins is fairly unusual, but to have five sets in a class is something I've never heard of. It can get confusing to say the least."

She added: "We’ve no idea why there are so many in the class. There must be something in the water."

The twins, aged two and three, make up half of the nursery class at the school’s newly-formed Flying Start nursery.

And the ten - six of whom are identical twins - could even go right through their school careers together because they live in the same catchment area and are the same age.

Their appearance in one nursery together is so unlikely that mathematicians have calculated its probability as almost zero.

Playgroup leader Carol Mansell said: "They are adorable. They are like little angels - although they can be little devils sometimes too.

"The blonde little girls Rebekah and Teagan Wheatley are behaving so well today. They’ve been brilliant.

"And the Bugby twins Callum and Damian are full of mischief. They are lovely but I don’t know where they get their energy from."

Her colleague Lynda Gould added: "The children all mix well but twins have a special bond.

"It is lovely to see how close they are. If one of them is not around the other is less sure of themselves.

"It is hard to tell which one is which sometimes but you’d be surprised how often we get it right."

All 10 children were born between April and September 2004, and have been attending the nursery since it was set up in January with funding from the Welsh Assembly.

Although the chances of getting five sets of twins in one class are extremely slim, multiple births have become more common, partly due to the increasing use of fertility drugs.

Also, the trend for having children later in life is thought to have contributed to the rising numbers of twins, since multiple births are statistically more likely for older mothers.

Several factors can increase the chances of having a multiple birth, including a mother being over 30 when she conceives.

While there is a three per cent chance of having a multiple birth at age 25 to 29, it increases to four per cent at 30 to 34 years old and almost five per cent at 35 to 39 years old.

The chance of having twins with the use of fertility treatments can be as high as 20 to 25 percent.

The latest Government figures show that 3 out of every 100 pregnancies currently result in twins or in higher multiples of children.
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Flowers grow from steel


A Chinese man has reportedly found flowers growing from a steel pipe in his vegetable garden.
Grandpa Ding told Sohu News: "I was cleaning the pipes, then my hand touched something fluffy."

Ding says he was surprised to see the patch of tiny white flowers growing on the smooth steel.

"The stems are slimmer than human hair, and altogether there are 38 small white flowers on top," he said.

The flowers open in the mornings, then close when the sun grows strong. Each flower has a diameter of 1mm.

Ding has consulted his neighbours, who believe the flowers are the legendary Youtan Poluo flower, which blossoms only once every 3,000 years.

"No soil, no water. These flowers can bring me good luck,"
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Jun 18, 2007

Thousands of rare pearls found in shipwreck


Salvagers have discovered thousands of pearls in a small, lead box they found while searching for the wreckage of the 17th-century Spanish galleon Santa Margarita.

Divers from Blue Water Ventures of Key West said they found the sealed box, measuring 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches, along with a gold bar, eight gold chains and hundreds of other artifacts earlier this week.

They were apparently buried beneath the ocean floor in approximately 18 feet of water about 40 miles west of Key West.

Duncan Mathewson, marine archaeologist and partner in the group said "there are several thousand pearls starting from an eighth of an inch to three-quarters of an inch".

James Sinclair, archaeologist and conservator consulting with Mel Fisher's Treasures, Blue Water's joint-venture partners, said the pearls are very rare because of their antiquity and condition.

The pearls will be conserved, documented and photographed in an archaeological laboratory above the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West.
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Strongman Stone

Jaja Stone reacting as the durian and bricks on his head are hammered during a "strongman" competition in Jarkata.


The most amazing thing was...... he succeeded in pulling a 8.9- tonne bus 50m (55 yards) forward with his genitals. Both actions were part of a strong man contest to mark the city's 480th anniversary.
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Jun 15, 2007

Two headed conjoined twins Abigail Loraine Hensel and Britanny Lee Hensel

Two headed conjoined twins Abigail Loraine Hensel and Britanny Lee Hensel had a short documentary about their lives on The Learning Channel. It is not easy to be born sharing a single body with your other twin and they are incredible that they had tried their best in leading a normal life. Here are some photos of the Hensel twins which peers into some of the moments in their lives.
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Jun 12, 2007

How much gold is there in the world?


Gold is considered one of the most precious metals in the world; and it has been used as a symbol for purity, value and royalty.

But do you know much gold is there in the world? And who owns most gold? If not, read on. . .

What is gold?

Gold is a rare metallic element with a melting point of 1064 degrees centigrade and a boiling point of 2808 degrees centigrade. Its chemical symbol, Au, is short for the Latin word for gold, 'Aurum', which literally means 'Glowing Dawn.' It has several properties that have made it very useful to mankind over the years, notably its excellent conductive properties and its inability to react with water or oxygen.

Where does the word gold come from?

The word gold appears to be derived from the Indo-European root 'yellow', reflecting one of the most obvious properties of gold. This is reflected in the similarities of the word gold in various languages: Gold (English), Gold(German), Guld (Danish), Gulden (Dutch), Goud (Afrikaans), Gull (Norwegian) and Kulta (Finnish).

How much gold is there in the world?

The World Gold Council estimates that at the end of 2001, it is estimated that all the gold ever mined amounted to about 145,000 tonnes.

Who owns most gold?

If we take national gold reserves, then the most gold is owned by the United States, followed by Germany and the International Monetary Fund.

But if we include jewellery ownership, then India is the largest repository of gold in terms of total gold within the national boundaries. In terms of personal ownership, it is not known who owns the most, but it is possibly a member of a ruling royal family in the East.

If all the gold that there is in the world is laid around the globe, how far would it stretch?

If we make all the gold ever produced into a thin wire of 5 microns (millionths of a metre) diameter -- the finest one can draw a gold wire, then all the gold would stretch around the circumference of the world an astounding 7.2 million times approximately!

Why is gold measured in carats?

This stems back to ancient times in the Mediterranean /Middle East, when a carat became used as a measure of the purity of gold alloys. The purity of gold is now measured also in terms if fineness, i.e parts per thousand. Thus 18 carats is 18/24th of 1000 parts = 750 fineness.

What is Carat?

A Carat (Karat in the US & Germany) was originally a unit of mass (weight) based on the Carob seed or bean used by ancient merchants in the Middle East. The Carob seed is from the Carob or locust bean tree. The carat is still used as such for the weight of gem stones (1 carat is about 200 mg). For gold, it has come to be used for measuring the purity of gold where pure gold is defined as 24 carats.

How does a gold mine work?

The gold-containing ore has to be dug from the surface or blasted from the rock face underground. This is then hauled to the surface and milled to release the gold. The gold is then separated from the rock (gangue) by techniques such as flotation, smelted to a gold-rich dor� and cast into bars.

These are then refined to gold bars by the Miller chlorination process to a purity of 99.5%. If higher purity is needed or platinum group metal contaminants are present, this gold is further refined by the Wohlwill electrlytic process to 99.9% purity.

What happens to gold after it is mined?

The ore is normally sent to a refinery, which will extract and melt down the gold into a pure 24ct form, normally as bars or ingots.

How big is a tonne of gold?

Gold is traditionally weighed in Troy Ounces (31.1035 gm). With the density of gold at 19.32 g/cm3, a troy ounce of gold would have a volume of 1.61 cm3. A metric tonne (equals 1,000 kg = 32,150.72 troy ounces) of gold would therefore have a volume of 51,762 cm3 (i.e. 1.61 x 32,150.72), which would be equivalent to a cube of side 37.27cm (Approx. 1' 3'').

What percentage of gold is used in jewellery, industry and investment?

Around 70% of gold demand is jewellery, 11% is industrial (dental, electronics) and 13% is investment (institutional and individual, bars & coins). Gold jewellery has strong 'investment' attributes in all countries, and in markets such as India and Middle East is sold by weight at the prevailing daily rate with a supplementary "making charge" which varies according to the complexity of the piece.
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Jun 11, 2007

Dynamic Skyscraper

A skyscraper built of rotating platters with built-in wind turbines
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Jun 10, 2007

Rotating Tower

Rotating Tower
Rotating Tower
Rotating Tower
Rotating Tower
Rotating Tower
Rotating Tower
Rotating Tower
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An artificial reef of sculptures

An underwater sculpture park in Grenada West Indies, created by Artist Jason Taylor.Aiming to depictCaribbean folklore it aim to re-generate a coral reef
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Digging Machine

Digging Machine

Digging Machine

Digging Machine

Digging Machine
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