Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

Shanxi  is a province in the northern part of the People’s Republic of China. Its one-character abbreviation is Jin (晋 pinyin jìn), after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period.

The name Shanxi literally means “mountain’s west”, which refers to the province’s location west of the Taihang Mountains. Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shaanxi to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the north. The capital of the province is Taiyuan.


The M16 (more formally Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16) is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 rifle fires the 5.56x45mm cartridge and can produce massive wounding and hydrostatic shock effects when the bullet impacts at high velocity and yaws in tissue leading to fragmentation and rapid transfer of energy.[3][4][5] However, terminal effects can be unimpressive when the bullet fails to yaw or fragment in tissue.

The M16 entered United States Army service as the M16A1 and was deployed for jungle warfare in South Vietnam in 1963,[6] becoming the standard U.S. rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969;[7] replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. Since the Vietnam War, the M16 rifle family has been the primary infantry rifle of the U.S. military. With its variants, it has been in use by 15 NATO countries, and is the most produced firearm in its caliber.


What happens when a rich Mexican drug lord gets busted? Massive confiscation of golden pistols, machine guns, mansions and even wild animals of their private home zoo. That’s exactly what happened to these people, and this time…everything was taken away.












Socotra is a small Yemeni archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Horn of Africa, about 350 kilometers south of the Arabian peninsula. Socotra is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth of continental origin. The archipelago features narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau with caves, and mountains which rise to 1,525 meters above sea level.

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Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic, i.e. found nowhere else on Earth.

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Socotra is home to more than 800 species of plants, some 240 of which are endemic to the island, and there are certainly many more plant species that have yet to be discovered. The climate is harsh, hot and dry, and yet – the most amazing plant life thrives there.

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A Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari) is seen in front of the Skund mountains on the island of Socotra, Yemen. The tree is so named because any injury to the bark results in a deep red liquid excreting from the scar – compared in the past to the “Blood of Dragons”.

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The branches spread out into the sky and from below appear to hover over the landscape like so many flying saucers… and from above they have a distinct mushroom look.

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The branches spread out into the sky and from below appear to hover over the landscape like so many flying saucers… and from above they have a distinct mushroom look.

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A Socotran Fig Tree (Dorstenia gigas) with a bizare swollen trunk that almost has human proportions grows against a limestone rock face on the island of Socotra. The plants are one of over 300 plant species endemic to the island.

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Old England

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Inspiration, Places
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Let’s take a look at these old photos and imagine how people lived at this time..without light, gas, wc..they had different troubles, but after all they didn’t have traffic jams! Would you like to live in such England? Waiting for your comments..

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About England

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population, whilst its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west and elsewhere is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The capital is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most, but not all, measures.

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England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. It has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world being the place of origin of the English language, the Church of England and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of many countries around the world. In addition, England was the birth place of the Industrial Revolution and the first country in the world to industrialise. It is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science. England is the world’s oldest parliamentary system and consequently many constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.

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The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued as a separate state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union, putting into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulted in political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1800, Great Britain was united with Ireland through another Act of Union 1800 to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1921, the Irish Free State was created, and the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927 officially established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which exists today.

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Taj Mahal

Posted: September 27, 2010 in Places
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Truly one of the world’s greatest architectural feats, the Taj Mahal complex in Agra, India was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife Arjuman Banu Begum, between 1630 and 1653. The seat of the Mughal Empire, the Taj’s buildings together combine Indian, Persian, and Turkish architecture.

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the great wall in china01 The Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from Xiongnu attacks during the rule of successive dynasties. Several walls, referred to as the Great Wall of China, were built since the 5th century BC. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang; little of it remains; it was much farther north than the current wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty.

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The Great Wall stretches over approximately 6,400 km (4,000 miles) from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia, but stretches to over 6,700 km (4,160 miles) in total. At its peak, the Ming Wall was guarded by more than one million men. It has been estimated that somewhere in the range of 2 to 3 million Chinese died as part of the centuries-long project of building the wall.

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Bungee jumping – dive from the giddy height of a towering fixed structure while an elastic cord secures you and keeps you suspended just inches above the ground level at the end of the leap. What leaves most people breathless during a bungee venture are the rebounds that occur due to the stretching and snapping of the cord. Bungee jumping was first practiced as a rite of passage for the youths of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. Since the modern times, several records have been made and broken by bungee-jumpers world over. The Guinness Book of World Records of the highest bungee jump was by AJ Hackett from Macau Tower of China from an altitude of 233 meters.

Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, USA – 1053 ft (321 m)

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Hanging above the Arkansas River, this suspended bridge is an all-time favorite bungee-jumping spot because of its amazing height. It spans over the Royal Gorge Route Railway and has a wooden plank-way for a breathtaking walk across the river.

Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – 710 ft (216 m)

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This unique highest single span arch bridge adds much to the giddy raptures of bungee jumping. Look ahead to the instructions by the jump experts, the tantalizing countdown before the plunge and the smoothest recoils owing to the pendulum bungee technology that makes it the highest commercial bungee jumping venue internationally.

Verzasca Dam, Val Verzasca, Switzerland – 721 ft (220 m)

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Ever since the famous James Bond stunt in the movie ‘Goldeneye’, this high arch hydroelectric dam has been one of the favorite haunts for bungee jumpers. You require an advance reservation, a medical check and of course, the proper height and weight proportions for stepping into the shoes of 007.

Corinth Canal, Greece – 260 ft (79 m)

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The Corinth Canal works as a connector between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese. If you like to plunge down to the canal’s depth, just take a bungee jump from the bridge. This is a regular weekend sport organized by the Zulu Bungy in the summer months.

Ponte Colossus, Italy – 500 ft (152 m)

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You will find this 350 m long bridge awe-inspiring and an inspiring spot for an energetic sport like bungee jumping. It will take you an average of almost 4.5 seconds for the first fall. You need a lot of nerve power to sustain the 100 km/hr vertical velocity of the free fall.

The Pipeline Bungy, New Zealand – 335 ft (102 m)

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As you undertake the four seconds of free fall from the longest single span suspension bridge over the raging Shotover River, your heart skips a beat. At the close of these four second, you hang dangerously close to the foamy waters only to be secured in a boat and brought to the shore at the end of the oscillations.

Colorado River, Costa Rica – 279 ft (85 m)

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The Colorado River is chiefly the haunt of the hobby fishers though its bridge is an excellent bungee jumping site as well. There are both normal and special all-day long bungee jumping schedules offered by Tropical Bungee to give you diverse ranges of experiences at the highest safety levels.

AltaVila Tower, Brasil/BH – 233 ft (71 m)

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The Alta Vila Tower of Nova Lima attracts site seers and bungee jumpers alike since it commands a breathtaking view of the mountain-surrounded Belo Horizonte.

Navajo Bridges, USA – 467 ft (142 m)

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Navajo Bridge of Marble Canyon spans across the Colorado River right over the Grand Canyon. The autumnal beauty of its natural setting makes it a lovely bungee jumping spot in late September. The advantage of the superb elevation of the Navajo Bridge is coupled with a unique sense adventure that you associate with bungee jumping.

Macau Tower, China – 764 ft (233 m)

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This 338 m tall tower holds the provisions for an observation deck for relaxing as well as for undertaking daring sports like bungee jumping or ‘sky jumping’ as it actually feels like. It counts among one of the giddiest entertainments that Macau has to offer to its visitors and locals.

Nevis Highwire Bungy, New Zealand – 440 ft (134 m)

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The jump pod overlooking the roaring Nevis River holds an irresistible attraction for the lovers of bungee jumping. This incredible 8.5 seconds of freefall offers you an exciting scope to span the Nevis Valley. Nevis Highwire Bungy shuttles the jumpers to the glass-paneled jump pod to help them have an unforgettable experience.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – 120 ft ( 37m )

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Puerto Vallarta is more than a resort with its countless scopes for adventure sports in its jungles, beaches and cultural getaways. You can accept the allure of the lush-green waters of Banderas Bay by taking a bungee jump from the adjacent cliffs for $55.00 between 10 am to 6 pm. The superior quality of the jumping equipments allows you to enjoy a safe thrill.

Graskop Gorge, South Africa – 197 ft/262 ft (60 m/80 m)

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As a potential bungee jumping site, Graskop Gorge offers you a peerless freefall from a height of 18-19 stories of Foefie slide. As you leap off, the cord will take you across the entire width of the gorge in a single sweep. Catch the spectacular beauty of the Graskop Falls as you trail across in the super-fast zipline like a bird.

Pont de Ponsonnas, France – 338 ft (103 m)

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If you deem suspension bridges as the most exciting bungee jumping spots, this is something you can positively rave about. The old dilapidated Pont de Ponsonnas Bridge has been now replaced by concrete-built arch Ponsonnas Bridge to give you an even safer bungee jumping experience.

Ledge Urban Bungee, Queenstown NZ – 154 ft ( 47m )

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Queenstown offers a perfect combination of wild adventures and serene beauty. The Ledge Urban site is known for its unique runaway jumping style whereby you can catch a glimpse of the nighttime beauty of Queenstown. The bungee harness helps you to adopt any posture during the free fall and enjoy a maddening rush of adrenaline.

Perrine Bridge, USA – 486 ft (148 m)

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You do not need a permit for year round bungee jumping from this bridge connecting the Twin Falls area to the Jerome County. You can find several BASE jumping compeers to share the excitement.

The Last Resort, Nepal – 525 ft (160 m)

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It gives you a scope to look and jump off from the longest Nepalese suspension bridge across one of the scariest tropical gorges, with the Bhote Kosi River rumbling below. You can remain in air for a long time during your free fall amid the charming valley sights.

Niouc, Switzerland – 623 ft (190 m)

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Niouc holds the record for the highest bungee jumping spot in Europe. Discover the wild side of Switzerland as you go for an entire array of holiday activities, with bungee jumping topping the list.

Longqing Gorge Bungee, China – 164 ft ( 50m )

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With its green mountains, caves and clear water, Longqing Gorge of northeast Yanqing County is an amazing natural spot for trekking and cruising. However, nothing matches up to bungee jumping. Just gear up some courage and take the plunge. Let your friends capture your action in a camera that you can treasure for a lifetime.

Victoria Falls Bridge, Zambia – 500 ft (152 m)

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The Victoria Falls Bridge over Zambezi River connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia is reckoned a perfect spot by bungee jumpers to get a close brush of the spraying falls. Once you jump off, the fall may seem to rush up to you at a maddening pace but you can trust the ankle and body harnesses for their full-proof security.

The Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan’s largest winter events, attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and abroad every year.

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Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park,the grounds at Satoland, and the main street in Susukino.

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For seven days in February,these statues and sculptures(both large and small) turn Sapporo into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow.

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The Snow Festival began in 1950, when local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park. in 1955, the Self-Defense Force joined in and built the very first massive snow sculpture, for which the Snow Festival has become famous for now.

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The Festival has grown from these humble beginnings to become one of the biggest and most well known of Hokkaido’s winter events.

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Vatu Vara Island lies in the northwest sector of Fiji’s northern Lau Group of islands, 32km west of Mago Island and some 60 km south-west of Vanua Balavu at Lat: 17° 26’00 S Long: 179° 31’00 W.

The island is 3km in diameter at the base of its 305 m high summit and is also referred to as “Hat Island” due to the summit’s shape. The limestone cliffs, some 60 meters in height, of the guyot and the rest of the island are covered in dense tropical jungle.

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The volcanic and limestone island is nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) in diameter at its base. Its 305 meter summit, the highest in Lau, is a massive truncated pyramid bounded on all sides by almost perpendicular cliffs up to 200 feet (61 m) in height. The crest of the pyramid is some 40 acres (160,000 m2) in extent, and is generally flat, although pitted with holes and depressions from 6-30 feet deep, some of them filled with water. At its base there is in most places a wide belt of gently sloping land, standing not more than 25 feet (7.5m) above sea level, and forming the brim of the hat suggesting the island’s profile. On the northern and eastern edges of the island the sea breaks against the limestone cliffs, which are deeply undercut; but elsewhere the island is circled by a broad fringing reef, which, off the western coast swings sharply away from the shore to enclose the lagoon. The precipitous sides of the central mass are scored by three shallow terraces, marking pauses in the uplift of the island; but these are not readily observed, being smothered under the dense vegetation that clothes the whole towering structure.

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It is a former atoll, specifically called a “Guyot”. This is an extinct volcano that has become overgrown by coral reefs to form an atoll. The flat top was once at sea level, which is why the summit is flat. Its unmistakable shape, and its massive peak like that of a vast stone hat, dominates the surrounding skyline and is recognizable over a radius of thirty-five miles (56km) from nearby islands such as Kaibu, Yacata, and Vanua Balavu.

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The island is privately owned, and is currently uninhabited.

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