Saturday, January 23, 2010

History in Pictures

Is this what history is all about ? I would really like to know your views on this. These images might offend a few but at the end depicts us the real truth or is it the other way round. Let me know your thoughts.
Check out 21 more pics after the jump.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gold: Awesome Pictures From Around The World

Gold bars are pictured at the Ginza Tanaka store in Tokyo October 23, 2009.

Everything changes, but Gold still remains a highly valued metal. It reaching record highs recently, climbing over 135% in value in the past year alone. The recent rise in the price of gold comes just as annual worldwide mine production has decreased – down by nearly 8% since 2001.

A total of 161,000 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, as of 2009. Modern industrial uses include dentistry and electronics, where gold has traditionally found use because of its good resistance to oxidative corrosion and excellent quality as a conductor of electricity.

Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals; a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, or an ounce into 300 square feet. Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become translucent.

Here are some photos of people searching for, mining, rediscovering, buying and selling gold. [Gold via Boston]
A visitor touches the world’s largest solid gold brick weighing 220kg (worth over US $7.8 million), at the Jinguashi Gold Museum in Ruifang, Taipei county, on December 2, 2009.
Hava Katz, the head of the national treasures of Israel’s Antiquities Authority, holds up a 1,000-year-old gold coin minted in Egypt and dated 1,095 AD, supposedly brought to Jerusalem by Muslim pilgrims, during an exhibition at the Davidson Archeological center in Jerusalem’s Old city on November 11, 2009.
A statue of a bird of prey made of gold is pictured at a gold and silver exhibition at the Ginza Tanaka store in Tokyo October 23, 2009.
A man holds a spoon full of gold leaf, ready to eat it with his sushi at the “Seven Sushi Samurai” Sushi of the Year awards 2009 at the Olympia exhibition center in west London, on November 14, 2009. Thegold leaf was an ingredient in last year’s winner Mitsunori Kusakabe’s entry.
Gold figurines on display in a shop window in Hong Kong on November 17, 2009.
Metal detector enthusiast David Booth poses with his hoard of Iron Age Gold on November 4, 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Booth discovered the gold Iron Age torcs buried on on private land in Stirlingshire – the items dating from between 300-100 BC. The hoard is currently under protection of the Treasure Trove Unit, under Scottish law, the Crown can claim any archaeological objects found in Scotland.
A gold miner pushes a wheelbarrow to carry rocks which will be processed for gold in an artisanal mine in Abangares, north of San Jose, Costa Rica on December 9, 2009. Costa Rica is pushing to legalize a 600 informal miners of small-scale miners who scrape out tiny amounts ofgold from abandoned mine shafts using dangerous and polluting techniques
People work in an illegal gold mine in a national park forest near Novo Progresso in Brazil’s northern state of Paral on September 15, 2009.
A Christie’s employee looks at a creation “Relief Eponge” by Yves Klein on display at the auction house in London, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. The gold sponge relief creation is to be auctioned at the “Post-war and Contemporary” sale on Feb. 11 with an estimated price of 5.7 to 8 million euros (US $8.2 to 11.4 million).
A Caterpillar Inc. mining truck moves along a road at the AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine in Victor/Cripple Creek, Colorado, on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Africa’s largest gold producer, purchased Golden Cycle Gold Corp. in January 2008 to gain full control of this mining site, its only active operation in the U.S.
Gold-plated Berlin Bear awards are lined up for the upcoming Berlinale International Film Festival at Noak bronze foundry in Berlin January 20, 2010.
Bulgarian archaeologist Veselin Ignatov holds a gold-plated silver cup with an image of the Greek God of love Eros, found at a Thracian mound near the village of Karanovo, Bulgaria on November 17, 2009. A team of archaeologists led by Ignatov found a chariot, two silver cups, golden rings and jewelry, clay and glass artifacts dating back to the first century A.D.
A Japanese girl admires a gold model named “Wishing to shooting stars” at a gold and silver craft exhibition in Tokyo on October 23, 2009. The 30cm-tall, 15kg pure gold artifact is worth 130 million yen (US $1.3 million).
A goldsmith works on a gold ornament at a workshop in Chandigarh, India on November 23, 2009.
Pure gold casting grain is displayed for a photograph at Dvir & Stoler Refining in New York, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

8 Forgotten Giants

1 – Lighthouse hidden in the sandRubjerg Knude Lighthouse in Jutland Denmark started life on December 27, 1900 (construction started in 1899).

The lighthouse is on the top of L√łnstrup Klint (cliff), 60 metres above sea level. Until 1908 it operated on gas which it produced from a gasworks on the site.
It ceased to operate on August 1, 1968.

The lighthouse was consumed by the moving sandmasses of a gigantic dune during the last 15 years. Up to the late 90s the lighthouse was a working one with a museum and a tea house attached. Nowadays there is only a ruin left of the once nice and impressive lighthouse.
Shifting sands and coastal erosion led to the buildings being abandoned in 2002.


2 – The “American Star”
One of the most remarkable shipwrecks on record, the S.S. America was beached off the coast of the Canary Islands, after a storm broke the towlines from a tugboat dragging the ship near the coast of Morocco. After it beached, the America’s hull split in two, and the stern section eventually sank. An interesting note: locals from the Canary Island of Fuerteventura have ransacked the ship, and much of their home furnishings, etc. are former pieces of the great merchant liner. The bow of the S.S. America (actually called the American Star at the time of its demise) still remains beached about a mile from shore.

3 – The church which stood over a sea of lava
On February 20, 1943, a volcano suddenly rose from the ground at the Mexican state of Michoacan, and buried two villages in lava and ashes. Today, 64 years after the eruption, the only trace of the villages is the church tower of San Juan Parangaricutiro, a little building which stood above a sea of rugged lava.
The church of San Juan is now a ghostly and abandoned ruin in the middle of nowhere. During the eruption, the lava flowed around and into the church, and covered 3/4 of the town. Just beneath the church, the old houses and buildings keep buried under the rocks.

4 – Construction Crane Buried in Ice Sheet

In the mid 1960s, ITT built a power transmission line in Antarctica. The transmission towers stood 115 feet tall.
As you can see in this photo, all but the top 40 feet of the towers are now buried in ice, and the crane used to build the towers will soon be totally covered by ice
Not only are the power transmission towers being buried, so are the Antarctic research stations themselves.
The old Byrd Station has been shut down because it is buried beneath 40 to 50 feet of ice and snow and is slowly being crushed.

5 – The incomplete Ryugyong Hotel.
If Dr. Evil was a real person, he would need a real hideout, and that real hideout may very well be The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The giant dark monolith , has 105 floors, yet it is completely empty without a single window.

This is the striking (and huge) Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. It’s a 330-metre-tall pyramid-shaped building with 3,000 rooms, and was supposed to have 7 revolving restaurants, except they never actually finished it.

Newspapers estimated the cost of construction was $750 million – 2% of North Korea’s GDP – and it is generally assumed construction came to a halt in 1992 due to lack of funding, acute electricity shortages, and the prevailing famine.
The building itself is complete, however it has no windows, fixtures or fittings – which makes it officially the world’s Tallest Unoccupied Building! In fact, it’s the tallest building by far in North Korea, the 18th tallest building in the entire world, and if it were ever to be completed, would be the world’s tallest hotel.
The Ryugyong Hotel appears in the game
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, where a wanted North Korean official has turned it into a fortress. The building is destroyed with a bunker buster bomb.

Update: After 16 years Ryugyong Hotel is starting to get back to life. Egypt’s Orascom group has recently begun refurbishing the top floors of the tower. The company has put glass panels into the concrete shell and installed telecommunications antennas. South Korean estimations say that it would cost $2 billion to finish the hotel and make it safe, that is the same as 10% annual GDP of North Korea.

6 – Maunsell Army Sea Forts
The Thames Estuary Army Forts were constructed in 1942 to a design by Guy Maunsell, following the successful construction and deployment of the Naval Sea Forts. Their purpose was to provide anti-aircraft fire within the Thames Estuary area. Each fort consisted of a group of seven towers with a walkway connecting them all to the central control tower. The fort, when viewed as a whole, comprised one Bofors tower, a control tower, four gun towers and a searchlight tower. They were arranged in a very specific way, with the control tower at the centre, the Bofors and gun towers arranged in a semi-circular fashion around it and the searchlight tower positioned further away, but still linked directly to the control tower via a walkway. All the forts followed this plan and, in order of grounding, were called the Nore Army Fort, the Red Sands Army Fort and finally the Shivering Sands Army Fort. All three forts were in place by late 1943, but Nore is no longer standing.Construction of the towers was relatively quick, and they were easily floated out to sea and grounded in water no more than 30m (100ft) deep
This forts saw action during the Second World War, and there is no doubt that they proved their worth. So much so in fact that anti-aircraft command called for theconstruction of more sea forts on the Thames in the immediate post-war period, and various new fort designs were put forward.
The Fort was dismantled in 1959, but the Red Sands and Shivering Sands Forts are still standing today. They have been used as pirate radio stations during the 60’s and 70’s, but since then have remained abandoned.

7 – The Abandoned Pod City
The area is called San Zhi. There are no named architects since the whole site was commissioned by the government and several local firms. They were trying to create a posh luxurious vacation spot for the affluent and rich streaming out of Taipei. Now this is where things get weird. The local papers say there were numerous accidents during itsconstruction , and as news spread to the urbanites of the island state, nobody wanted to vacation there, much less visit. Locals say the area is now haunted by those who died in vain and because they are not remembered, they linger there unable to pass on.
This explains why the area was abandoned. If the site is haunted, no amount of redevelopment is going to bring the masses to that spot. Even demolishing it is out of the question because destroying the homes of spirits and lost souls is a HUGE no-no in Asian culture

8 – Shipwrecks on the coast of Mauritania
The Bay of Nouadhibou, seven miles south from the Mauritanian city, hides one the biggest ship cemeteries in the world. There are more than 300 wrecks around the harbour, resting for years and coming from all nations.
A brief walk through Google Maps will show you hundreds of skeletons piled here and there, at the biggest collection of rusty giant ships you could ever imagine.