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31/10/2009

Boo ! Halloween

30/10/2009

Great Highland Bagpipe (A' Phìob Mhòr), Bagpiper, London


This is a photo of a bagpiper, playing a Great Highland Bagpipe (A' Phìob Mhòr in Gaelic), a type of bagpipe native to Scotland, which has achieved widespread recognition through its usage in the British military and in pipe bands throughout the world.
The bagpipe is first attested in Scotland around 1400, having first appeared in European artwork in Spain in the 1200s. The earliest references to Scottish bagpipes are in a military context, and it is in that context that the Great Highland Bagpipe became established in the British military and achieved the widespread prominence it enjoys today, whereas other bagpipe traditions throughout Europe, ranging from Spain to Russia, almost universally went into decline by the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Follow this link to get the entire list of bagpipes worldwide.

28/10/2009

Plage des Sables Blancs, Tréboul, Douarnenez, Brittany, France


This photo was taken from the Plage des Sables Blancs, Tréboul, Douarnenez, Brittany, France, looking towards the Baie de Douarnenez, a bay in Finistère, between the Crozon peninsula to the north and the cap Sizun to the south. It is formed of a vast semi-circular basin over 16 km wide and 20 km deep. Although half-closed-off to the west by Cap de la Chèvre, it opens out again to a width of 9 km on the side of the Mer d'Iroise.

27/10/2009

Steel-Wire Cables, Brooklyn Bridge, New York


This is a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, stretching 1,825 m over the East River, connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Upon completion in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, the first steel-wire suspension bridge, and the first bridge to connect to Long Island.
Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge in an 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York skyline. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

26/10/2009

Penny-farthing


This is a photo of a penny-farthing or high wheel or high wheeler or ordinary, all terms used to describe a type of bicycle with a large front wheel and a much smaller rear wheel that was popular after the boneshaker, until the development of the safety bicycle, in the 1880s.

25/10/2009

Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales


This is a photo of the Tintern Abbey (Abaty Tyndyrn in Welsh), which was founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, in 1131. Situated on the River Wye in Monmouthshire, it was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales. It is one of the most spectacular ruins in the country.

24/10/2009

Phare de la Vieille, Pointe du Raz, Brittany, France


This is a photo of the Phare de la Vieille (Vieille lighthouse), a lighthouse located in Brittany, France. Built between 1882 and 1887 on the rock known as la Gorlebella (Breton for "the farthest rock"), it illuminates and improves the safety of the strait Raz de Sein, across from the companion lighthouse Tourelle de la Plate.
The so-called "hell" of this lighthouse is due to its remote position in rough seas. Furthermore, it has a rich past: between the first feasibility studies and its first lighting, nearly ten years were necessary. In 1995 it became the second to last French lighthouse to be automated, a process delayed due to the lighthouse keepers on the site refusing in protest to carry out the task.
The architecture of the Vieille was designed to be aesthetically pleasing, and also chosen to minimise confusion with the nearby tower Tévennec. Thus the lighthouse's shape is a squat quadrilateral, with slight crenellations. The tower is square and semi-cylindrical on the north face, broadening towards the base. The structure of the lighthouse was constructed from grey granite quarried from the Ile de Sein, while the tower and the corners of the building were built from coated cinder blocks of blue granite, from Kersanton.
In the background, one can see the big lighthouse of Ile de Sein (Sein Island), constructed between 1950 and 1951.

22/10/2009

WcDonald's


I guess it does not really matter where this photo was taken, as it could be almost anywhere on the planet (except in the few McDonald's-free zones - see below)


Just a little extra in addition to the photo, with this supersize-me-esque link...


21/10/2009

Vaulted Central Hall, Natural History Museum, London


This is a photo of the main hall of the Natural History Museum in London.
The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology. The museum is a world-renowned centre of research, specialising in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Darwin.

20/10/2009

Citroën H Van, Type H, H-Type or HY


This is a photo of a Citroën H Van, Type H, H-Type or HY was a light truck (or delivery van) produced by the French car maker Citroën between 1947 and 1981. It was developed as a simple front wheel driven van after World War II. A total of 473,289 were produced in 34 years in factories in France and Belgium. Most of them were sold in France, Belgium and The Netherlands.
The engine, gear box and many smaller parts are well known from other Citroën models: engine and gearbox are nearly the same as in the Traction Avant and later the DS, only mounted with the engine to front. Head lights and speedometer were identical to the 2CV for a long time.

18/10/2009

Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens (Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens), France

Above and below photos are photos of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens (Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens), or simply Amiens Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and seat of the Bishop of Amiens. Along with the cathedrals of Chartres and Reims, Amiens is a member of the illustrious triad of "High Gothic" or "Classical" French cathedrals built in the 13th century. The cathedral is the tallest complete cathedral in France, with the greatest interior volume (estimated at 200,000 m³). The vaults of the nave are 42.30 m high, the tallest nave vaults in any completed French cathedral, and surpassed only by the incomplete Beauvais Cathedral. This monumental cathedral is located in Amiens, Picardy, in the Somme River valley a little over 100 kilometers north of Paris.
Notre-Dame d'Amiens has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.
Below, the Beau Dieu ("Handsome God") of Amiens on the central portal.

And the Virgin Mary
The west front of the cathedral shows an unusual degree of artistic unity: its lower tier with three vast deep porches is capped with the gallery of twenty-two over lifesize kings, which stretches across the entire façade beneath the rose window.


And relief at lower level in the western entrance.


16/10/2009

Punta de la Nao, Cap de Formentor, Majorca


This photo was taken from Punta de la Nao, the famous Mirador de Formentor, Cap de Formentor, Majorca. The view of the cliffs below causes even the most fearless to feel weak in the knees. The sea roars 300m below and if that isn't enough, the winds found at the headland are vicious...

15/10/2009

"Balcony to the Aegean", Imerovigli, Santorini (Σαντορίνη), Cyclades, Greece


This is a photo taken form Imerovigli, Santorini, Cyclades, Greece.
Imerovigli (Ημεροβίγλι) is actually a neighbourhood of Fira village, as it is only 2 km away from the capital of Santorini. Imerovigli is mostly famous for its beautiful sunset, that it is called "balcony to the Aegean". Its houses are built amphitheatrically around the caldera and it is crossed by narrow, paved paths.
Imerovigli has many lovely churches, all made in the Cycladic architectural style. They most notable are the church of Ai-Stratis, in the centre of the village, and the Monastery of Saint Nikolaos, on the way connecting Imerovigli to Fira. Another famous site of Imerovigli is Skaros, which are the remains of a Venetian Castle built in 1207 by Marco Sanudo, the ruler of all Cyclades islands that time.

14/10/2009

Street Art, Tian


This is a photo of one of many streetart, paintings, studio pictures, etc... of the universe of Tian. See Tian offical website and Tian on Flickr.

13/10/2009

Pelourinho, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil


This a photo taken in the historic centre of Salvador de Bahia (São Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos, i.e "Holy Savior of All Saints' Bay"). Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia and known as as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the country and in the New World. The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in the northeastern region of the country. Over 80% of the population of metropolitan region of Salvador is of Black African origin, and African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The historical center of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and has been declared World Heritage site by UNESCO. See also salvadordabahia.org.

12/10/2009

Foot Guard & Bearskin


This is a photo a a Foot Guard. The Foot Guards are the Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards,
the Guards Machine Gun Regiment was formed during the First World War, was disbanded in 1920; the five others still exist : Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards, and Welsh Guards.
The tall fur cap is called a bearskin. The standard bearskin of the British Foot Guards is 18 inches tall, weighs 1.5 pounds, is made from the fur of the Canadian black bear. However, an officer's bearskin is made from the fur of the Canadian brown bear as the female brown bear has thicker, fuller fur, and is dyed black. The British Army purchase the hats, which are known as caps, from a British hatmaker which sources its pelts from an international auction. The hatmakers purchase between 50 and 100 black bear skins each year at a cost of about £650 each. If properly maintained, the caps last for decades; some caps in use are reportedly more than 100 years old.
On August 3, 1888 The New York Times reported that bearskin caps might be phased out because of a shortage of bear skins. The article stated that, at that time, bearskin hats cost £7/5s each (£600 in 2007 pounds) and noted “it can readily be seen what a price has to be paid for keeping up a custom which is rather old, it is true, but is practically a useless one save for the purpose of military display..”
In 1997 Minister for Defence Procurement said that he wanted to see bearskins phased out as soon as possible due to ethical concerns, but no replacement was available at that time.
In 2005 the Ministry of Defence began a two-year test of artificial fur for the hats. The army has already replaced beaver hats and leopard skins, worn by some of its soldiers, with artificial materials. In March 2005, Labour MP Chris Mullin called for an immediate ban on bearskin hats stating that they "have no military significance and involve unnecessary cruelty."
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has protested against the continued use of real fur for the guards’ hats, alleging that the animals are killed cruelly. For several years, PETA members have held demonstrations, including one with 70 naked protesters at St. Peter's Hill, near St Paul's Cathedral, in 2006. PETA wants the fur hats to be replaced with synthetic materials and claims that the Ministry of Defence has not done enough to find alternatives.
Supporters of the headgear claim that the animals used are not killed for their fur but are roadkill or culled animals. A website purporting to be “an historical encyclopedia of the land forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth” claims that Inuit hunters cull 40,000 black bears annually out of a population of more than a million...

11/10/2009

Amsterdam 17/III 2002, by Ralph Fleck


This is a photo of the painting of German artist Ralph Fleck
Amsterdam 17/III 2002 oil on canvas 150 x 150 cm
See his work at Ralph Fleck.

10/10/2009

08/10/2009

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา), Thailand


This is a photo of the ruins of the old city of Ayutthaya, in Thailand. The city was founded in 1350 by King U Thong, who came here to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri, and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. Ayutthaya was named after the city of Ayodhya in India, the birthplace of Rama in the Ramayana. In 1767 the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, and the ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya historical park, which is recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

07/10/2009

Apple Core - Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's TH. 2058 (Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen)


This is a photo taken during Dominique_Gonzalez-Foerster's TH. 2058 exposition at the Tate Modern. This is a copy (reproduced with the permission of the Oldenburg van Bruggen Foundation) of the Apple Core, by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

05/10/2009

Karlu Karlu, Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Australia


This photo was taken at the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve (see official website), located south of Tennant Creek area of Northern Territory in Australia. The site is known as Karlu Karlu to the land's Aboriginal traditional owners. The ‘Devil’s Marbles’ or ‘Karlu Karlu’ with its gigantic, rounded granite boulders, some spectacularly poised, is a remarkable landscape. Scattered clusters of these ‘marbles’ are spread across a wide, shallow valley. The Devil’s Marbles is a nationally and internationally recognised symbol of Australia’s outback.

04/10/2009

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York


This is a photo of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It opened its doors on October 21, 1959 and is one of the best-known museums in New York City and one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum––which is often called simply The Guggenheim––is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art, and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. Located on the Upper East Side in New York City it is the second museum opened by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation which was founded in 1937.
The distinctive building, Wright's last major work, instantly polarized architecture critics upon completion, though today it is widely revered. From the street, the building looks approximately like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to the more typically boxy Manhattan buildings that surround it, a fact relished by Wright who claimed that his museum would make the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art "look like a Protestant barn."
Internally, the viewing gallery forms a gentle helical spiral from the main level up to the top of the building. Paintings are displayed along the walls of the spiral and also in exhibition space found at annex levels along the way.


02/10/2009

Tessellated Glass and Steel Roof, Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, British Museum, London


This photo was taken in the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, a covered square at the centre of the British Museum designed by the engineers Buro Happold and the architects Foster and Partners. The Great Court opened in December 2000 and is the largest covered square in Europe, bigger than a football field. The roof is a tessellated glass and steel construction, made up of 4878 unique steel members connected at 1566 unique nodes and 1,656 pairs of glass windowpanes making up 6100m2 of glazing; each of a unique shape because of the undulating nature of the roof.