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29/06/2009

View of Paris from the observation deck of Tour Montparnasse


This photo was taken from the observation deck of the 210-meter tall Tour Montparnasse and shows the southwest part of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the business district of La Défense and Les Invalides.

27/06/2009

The Policeman And The Baton


This is a photo of some street graffiti poster. If you know the artist's name, I am taker as I could not find out.

20/06/2009

The Eagles & The Crown : Chrysler Building, Manhattan, New York City


This is a photo of the Chrysler Building, an Art Deco skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bay area at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Standing at 319 metres, it was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. After the destruction of the World Trade Center, it was again the second-tallest building in New York City until December 2007, when the spire was raised on the 365.8-metre Bank of America Tower, pushing the Chrysler Building into third position.
The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture and considered by many contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City.
The Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen to house the Chrysler Corporation. The distinctive ornamentation of the building based on features that were then being used on Chrysler automobiles. The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments; on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps. The building is constructed of masonry, with a steel frame, and metal cladding. In total, the building currently contains 3,862 windows on its facade and 4 banks of 8 elevators.
The Chrysler Building is also well renowned and recognized for its terraced crown. Composed of seven radiating terraced arches, Van Alen's design of the crown is a cruciform groin vault constructed into seven concentric members with transitioning setbacks, mounted up one behind each other. The stainless-steel cladding is ribbed and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, transitioning into smaller segments of the seven narrow setbacks of the facade of the terraced crown.

18/06/2009

Appeal of June 18th, Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), Statue of Jean Cardot, Paris


This is a photo of the statue of Charles de Gaulle in Paris on the Champs-Elysées, designed by sculptor Jean Cardot, who also made a popular bear-like statue of Sir Winston Churchill (standing 50 metres from the one of De Gaulle).
Charles de Gaulle, (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres, FFL) during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969.
A veteran of World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s de Gaulle came to the fore as a proponent of armored warfare and advocate of military aviation, which he considered a means to break the stalemate of trench warfare. During World War II, he reached the rank of Brigadier General, leading one of the few successful armored counter-attacks during the 1940
Battle of France, and then organized the Free French Forces with exiled French officers in England. He gave a famous radio address on the June 18th 1940 , exhorting the French people to resist Nazi Germany (see translation of the speech at : Appeal of June 18). Following the liberation of France in 1944, de Gaulle became prime minister in the Provisional Government of the French Republic. Although he retired from politics in 1946 due to political conflicts, he was returned to power with military support following the May 1958 crisis. De Gaulle led the writing of a new constitution founding the Fifth Republic, and was elected President of France. As president, Charles de Gaulle ended the political chaos and violence that preceded his return to power. Although he initially supported French rule over Algeria, he controversially decided to grant independence to that country, ending an expensive and unpopular war. A new currency was issued to control inflation and industrial growth was promoted. De Gaulle oversaw the development of atomic weapons and promoted a pan-European foreign policy, seeking to diminish U.S. and British influence; withdrawing France from the NATO military command, he objected to Britain's entry into the European Community and he recognized Communist China. During his term, de Gaulle also faced controversy and political opposition from Communists and Socialists, and a spate of widespread protests in May 1968. De Gaulle retired in 1969, but remains the most influential leader in modern French history.

16/06/2009

Manhattan from the "Top of the Rock", New York City


This photo was taken from the "Top of the Rock", the Art Deco GE Building skyscrapper that forms the centrepiece of Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan.

11/06/2009

Fulham Railway Bridge


This photo shows Fulham Railway Bridge; it crosses the River Thames in London and is very close to Putney Bridge, and carries the London Underground District Line between Putney Bridge station on the North, and East Putney station on the South. Fulham Railway Bridge can also be crossed on foot, on the downstream (east) side.
The
truss bridge is of lattice girder construction and 418 metres long, with 5 spans totalling 301 metres actually across the river, two further spans on the southern shore, and one on the north. It was designed by Brunel's former assistant William Jacomb, built by Head Wrightson and opened in 1889. See a previous and older post on this bridge using this link.

08/06/2009

07/06/2009

Golden Pheasant


This is a photo of a Golden Pheasant, or "Chinese Pheasant", (Chrysolophus pictus) which is a gamebird of the order Galliformes (gallinaceous birds) and the family Phasianidae. It is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

05/06/2009

The Glass of Rosé Wine



A Rosé wine (From French: rosé, ‘pinkish’) has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques. There are three major ways to produce rosé wine :
  • Skin Contact : the first is used when rosé wine is the primary product. Red-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, typically two or three days. The grapes are then pressed, and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation (as with red wine making). The skins contain much of the strongly flavored tannin and other compounds, which leaves the taste more similar to a white wine. The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color of the final wine
  • Saignée : Rosé wine can be produced as a by-product of red wine fermentation using a technique known as Saignée, or bleeding the vats. When a winemaker desires to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage. The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration is concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.
  • Blending : the simple mixing of red wine to a white to impart color, is uncommon. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions.

Regardign Blending, there is currently a European Union scheme to allow a blend of red and white wines to be sold as rose. An overwhelming majority of French consumers are strongly opposed to this scheme. In France rosé is traditionally produced by leaving crushed red grapes to soak with macerating white grapes. But New World winemakers in Australia, South Africa and elsewhere have produced cheaper rosés by blending white and red roses. The European Commission, which is due to finalise reforms of the EU wine labelling system in June, has offered to compromise by giving French rosé wines a special designation to distinguish them from blended wines...

04/06/2009

Egyptian Hieroglyphs, British Museum, London


This photo was taken in the British Museum in London, which houses the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities outside the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. A collection of immense importance for its range and quality, it includes objects of all periods from virtually every site of importance in Egypt and the Sudan. Together they illustrate every aspect of the cultures of the Nile Valley (including Nubia), from the Predynastic Neolithic period (c. 10,000 BC) through to the Coptic (Christian) times (12th century AD), a time-span over 11,000 years.
Egyptians hieroglyphs (from Greek ἱερογλύφος "sacred carving") was a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that contained a combination of logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood.

02/06/2009

Albert Bridge, London


This is a photo of Albert Bridge, a road bridge spanning the River Thames between Chelsea and Battersea in London, named in memory of Prince Albert of Saxw-Coburg-Gotha, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The bridge opened first on 31 December 1872 but closed again shortly after, to re-open on 23 August 1873. The designer was Rowland Mason Ordish, who conceived a rigid suspension bridge with a length of 216.4 m, width of 12.5 m and a centre span of 121.9 m. In 1884 Sir Joseph Bazalgette strengthened and modernised Albert Bridge, rendering it more like a conventional cable-stayed bridge. The bridge came close to being replaced after the Second World War, but a concerted campaign led by, among others, Sir John Betjeman led to its conservation. In the 1970s, central supports were added by the Greater London Council to save the structure from collapse. Weight restrictions have been in place since Bazalgette's time, as have notices requiring soldiers (such as those from nearby Chelsea Barracks) to break step when marching over the bridge for fear that mechanical resonance or other effects might damage the structure. The bridge was given protection as a Grade II* listed structure in 1975.

01/06/2009

Charles Darwin 2.2-tonne Marble Statue by Sir Joseph Boehm. 2009 Commemorations.


This is a photo of the 2.2-tonne marble statue of Charles Darwin, located at the top of the main staircase in the London Natural History Museum's iconic Central Hall. The statue was created by Sir Joseph Boehm and was unveiled on 9 June 1885. In 1927 it was moved to make way for an Indian elephant specimen, and then moved again in 1970 to the North Hall.
The statue has recently returned to its original prime position, in time for the anniversary of Darwin's birth 200 years ago, and for the start of the programme of Darwin200 events.
Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who realised and presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors, through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and much of the general public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selection came to be widely seen as the primary explanation of the process of evolution in the 1930s, and now forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, providing logical explanation for the diversity of life.