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30/11/2010

30th November : St Andrews Day - The Saltire, Saint Andrew's Cross, Scottish Flag


St Andrews Day is on 30 November. On this day, Scots all around the world celebrate their national day. The Scottish flag is the cross of St. Andrew, also known as the Saltire. It is said to be one of the oldest national flags of any country, dating back at least to the 12th century.
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece and Russia and was Christ's first disciple.
St. Andrew was one of the Twelve Apostles (disciples of Jesus) and brother of Simon Peter (Saint Peter). He was a fisherman by trade, who lived in Galilee (in present-day Israel.)
St. Andrew is believed to have died on a diagonally transversed cross, which the Romans sometimes used for executions. The cross St. Andrew was crucified on has been adopted as the national flag of Scotland, later incorporated into the Union Flag. The blue stands for the sky.

29/11/2010

VéloSoleX by Solex


This is a photo of an old VéloSoleX, a moped or motorised bicycle that was originally produced by the French manufacturer Solex, based in Paris, France.
The Vélosolex has a small 49cc motor mounted above the front wheel. Power is delivered via a small ceramic roller that rotates directly on the front wheel by friction to the tire. The first prototype of a VeloSolex was created in 1941 and used regular bicycle frame such as those under the "Alcyon" brand and were powered by a 45cc engine developed by Solex. VELOSOLEX were produced commercially and sold starting 1946 with a 45cc engine without clutch, then later with a 49cc engine.
The French manufacturer Solex was a company (founded by Marcel Mennesson and Maurice Goudard) which manufactured centrifugal radiators, carburetors, and micrometers, before branching into assist motors and bicycles. Owned successively by Dassault, Renault, Motobécane/MBK, VéloSoleX sold more than 7 million VéloSoleX worldwide before ceasing production in France in 1988. Production of the VéloSoleX restarted in both China and Hungary after 1988, but production ceased in Hungary in 2002. Today the Velosolex is manufactured in France. The trademark "VéloSoleX" is the property of Velosolex America, LLC. Velosolex America markets the VéloSoleX world wide.

26/11/2010

Eiffel Tower (from the top platform of the Tour Montparnasse), Paris, France


This is photo of the Eiffel Tower (taken at night from the top platform of the Tour Montparnasse), the 19th century iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower, which is the tallest building in Paris, is the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair.

25/11/2010

Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius, Double-wattled Cassowary, Australian Cassowary or Two-wattled Cassowary), Australia


This photo was taken at the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary, Port Douglas, Australia, and does show a Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius, also known as Double-wattled Cassowary, Australian Cassowary or Two-wattled Cassowary), a large flightless black bird. It is a ratite and therefore related to the Emu, Ostrich, and the genus Rhea.
It has hard and stiff plumage, a brown casque, blue face and neck, red nape and two red wattles hanging down its throat. The three-toed feet are thick and powerful, equipped with a lethal dagger-like claw up to 12 cm on the inner toe. It is the largest member of the cassowary family and is the second heaviest bird on earth, at a maximum size estimated at 85 kilograms and 190 centimetres. It is technically the largest Asian bird (since the extinction of the Arabian Ostrich, and previously the Moa of New Zealand) and the largest Australian bird (though the Emu may be slightly taller). The Southern Cassowary is distributed in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, New Guinea and northeastern Australia, and it prefers elevations below 1,100 m in Australia, and 500 m on New Guinea.

24/11/2010

Kastellet, Copenhagen, Denmark


This photo was taken in the Kastellet, Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe.

23/11/2010

"Danke, Andrej Sacharow" by Dmitri Vrubel, The East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany


These photos were taken at the East Side Gallery in Berlin (an international memorial for freedom, a 1.3km long section of the Berlin Wall). It does show a section of the Berlin Wall, a painting from Russian painter Dmitri Vrubel of Andrei Sakharov.


See another famous section of the wall from Dmitri Vrubel : "Mein Gott, hilf mir diese tödliche Liebe zu überleben" (God help me to survive this deadly love affair) on a previous post.

20/11/2010

Candid Street Portrait, Urgut (Ургут) Bazaar, Uzbekistan (O‘zbekiston, Ўзбекистон)


This photo was taken in the Urgut Bazaar, Uzbekistan (O‘zbekiston, Ўзбекистон).
Urgut is a town in the Samarqand Province of Uzbekistan and the capital of Urgut District. It is known for the grove of platans, some of which are more than 1000 years old. Urgut is located in mountainous areas. Urgutlik (also known as Urguti in Tajik) people are a subgroup of ethnic Uzbeks who track their ancestry to people from a town of Urgut. There are almost 500,000 people who describe themselves as Urgutlik. Urgutlik people frequently use Tajik words in their daily conversation. Majority of the population speak Uzbek; however, there are some Tajik ethnic villages and they speak Tajik.
Urguti people are heavily involved in basic mercantile trading in their respective locations and in farming. In the town craftsmanship is also well-known which has been maintained traditionally throughout the centuries. Urgut's biggest market with varied and relatively inexpensive merchandise attracts folks even from Samarkand, the capital of the Province.

19/11/2010

The Daily Gorilla (graphic design studios De Designpolitie and Lesley Moore, and graphic designer Herman van Bostelen)


This photo was taken in the Museum Of Design in London, and is showing a few images from Gorilla. Gorilla is visual column that appeared daily on the cover of 'de Volkskrant' from october 2006 until april 2009 and is currently published in 'De Groene Amsterdammer' and 'Adformatie'. The column is joint project of the Designpolitie, Lesley Moore and Herman van Bostelen. See The Daily Gorilla website.

17/11/2010

Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว), Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand


This photo was taken at the entrance of Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha - วัดพระแก้ว), regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. It is located in the historic center of Bangkok (district Phra Nakhon), within the grounds of the Grand Palace.

16/11/2010

Coloseum, (Coliseum, Flavian Amphitheatre), Rome, Italy


This is a photo of The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Amphitheatrum Flavium, Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.
Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign (81–96). The name "Amphitheatrum Flavium" derives from both Vespasian's and Titus's family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).
Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Although in the 21st century it stays partially ruined because of damage caused by devastating earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and still has close connections with the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum.

15/11/2010

Itchan Kala (Ichon Qala), Khiva (Xiva, Хива, خیوه), Uzbekistan (O‘zbekiston, Ўзбекистон)


This is a photo of Itchan Kala, the walled inner town of the city of Khiva, Uzbekistan. Since 1990, it has been protected as the World Heritage Site.
The old town retains more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses, dating primarily from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Djuma Mosque, for instance, was established in the tenth century and rebuilt from 1788 to 1789, although its celebrated hypostyle hall still retains 112 columns taken from ancient structures.
The most spectacular features of Itchan Kala are its crenellated brick walls and four gates at each side of the rectangular fortress. Although the foundations are believed to have been laid in the tenth century, present-day 10-meters-high walls were erected mostly in the late seventeenth century and later repaired.

12/11/2010

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan, 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.

11/11/2010

11 November 1918


This is a photo of the Guards Memorial, located in St Jame's Park opposite Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. It is in remembrance to those who died in the Great War 1914 - 1918 and was unveiled in October 1926.
The armistice between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918, and marked the end of fighting in the First World War on the Western Front. Principal signatories were Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the Allied Commander-in-chief, and Matthias Erzberger, Germany's representative. It was a military agreement that marked a complete defeat for Germany, but was neither an unconditional surrender nor a treaty.

10/11/2010

Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire, England


This is a photo of Rievaulx Abbey, a former Cistercian abbey headed by the Abbot of Rievaulx. It is located in the village of Rievaulx, near Helmsley in North Yorkshire, England.
It was once one of the wealthiest abbeys in England and was dissolved by Henry VIII of England in 1538.
Rievaulx Abbey was founded in 1132 by twelve French monks from Clairvaux Abbey as a mission centre for the colonisation of the north of England and Scotland. It was the first Cistercian abbey in the north. With time it became one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire, second only to Fountains Abbey in fame.

08/11/2010

Olive Tree (Olea europaea)


The olive tree is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 metres (26–49 ft) in height. The silvery green leaves are oblong in shape, measuring 4–10 centimetres (1.6–3.9 in) long and 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.2 in) wide. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted.
The small white flowers, with ten-cleft calyx and corolla, two stamens and bifid stigma, are borne generally on the last year's wood, in racemes springing from the axils of the leaves.
The fruit is a small drupe 1–2.5 centimetres (0.39–0.98 in) long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage. Canned black olives may contain chemicals (usually ferrous sulfate) that turn them black artificially.

07/11/2010

High Blown Glass Chandelier, Dale Chihuly


This is a photo of Chihuly's commission from the Victoria and Albert Museum for a 30-foot-high (9.1 m), blown-glass chandelier, which dominates the museum's main entrance.
Dale Chihuly (born September 20, 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, United States) is an American glass sculptor.

05/11/2010

Opera House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


This is a close-up photo of the Sydney Opera House, New South Wales, Australia. Designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the project was built in three stages : 1959–1963 consisted of building the upper podium; 1963–1967 saw the construction of the outer shells; 1967-1973 consisted of the interior design and construction. It was formally opened in 1973 by Elisabeth II, and in 2007 was made a UNESCO World Heritage. To know more about it, please refer to following Wikipedia web page Sydney Opera House.You can also refer to that previous post for similar photos.
Do you prefer Black & White or Color ?

04/11/2010

View From Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire, England


This photo was taken from the Roseberry Topping, distinctive hill on the border between North Yorkshire and the borough of Redcar and Cleveland, England. It is situated near Great Ayton and Newton under Roseberry. Its summit has a distinctive half-cone shape with a jagged cliff.

03/11/2010

Central Park & Upper East Side from the Rockefeller Center Observatory (Top of the Rock), New York


This is a photo of Central Park as seen from the Rockefeller Center observation deck.
Central Park initially opened in 1857, on 770 acres (3.1 km2) of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan. Construction began the same year and was completed in 1873. Central Park has been a National Historic Landmark since 1963. The park, which receives approximately twenty-five million visitors annually, is the most visited urban park in the United States. It is 2.5 miles (4 km) long between 59th Street (Central Park South) and 110th Street (Central Park North), and is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) wide between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West.

02/11/2010

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark


This photo was taken in Nyhavn during the winter, the colourful 17th century waterfront, canal and popular entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbourfront just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and numerous bars, cafés and restaurants. Serving as a heritage harbour, the canal is packed with old wooden ships.