Apr 29, 2013
Review the map on the Post of March 24th 2012 for the route taken for the South American trip.
The largest Pre-Columbian city in South America, Chan Chan is an archaeological site located in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, five km west of Trujillo. Chan Chan covers an area of approximately 20 km² and had a dense urban center of about 6 km². Chan Chan was constructed by the Chimor (the kingdom of the Chimú), a late intermediate period civilization which grew out of the remnants of the Moche civilization. The vast adobe city of Chan Chan was built by the Chimu around AD 850 and lasted until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. It was the imperial capital of the Chimor until it was conquered in the 15th century. It is estimated that around 30,000 people lived in the city of Chan Chan.
Chan Chan was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on November 28 of 1986. The city is severely threatened by storms from El Niño, which cause heavy rains and flooding on the Peruvian coast. It is in a fertile, well-watered section of the coastal plain The city’s ruins are additionally threatened by earthquakes and looters. Present-day visitors to Chan Chan can enter the Tschudi Complex, believed to be one of the later citadels built in the city. There are also several other Chimú and Moche ruins in the area around Trujillo. This site was discovered by the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
The city is composed of ten walled citadels which housed ceremonial rooms, burial chambers, temples, reservoirs and some residences. Chan Chan is a triangular city surrounded by walls 50–60 feet high. A distinguishable aspect of Chan Chan is that there are no enclosures which open to the north. The tallest walls shelter against south-westerly winds from Peru’s coast. Northern-facing walls gain the greatest exposure to the sun, serving both to block the wind and absorb sunlight where fog is frequent. The numerous walls throughout the city create a labyrinth of passages.
The walls themselves were constructed of adobe brick and were then covered with a smooth surface into which intricate designs were carved. There are two styles of design present in these carvings: one is a ‘realistic’ representation of subjects such as birds, fish, and small mammals; and the other is a more graphic, stylized representation of the same subjects. The carvings at Chan Chan depict crabs, turtles, and nets for catching various sea monsters.
Examples of the intricate images found in Chan Chan
Chan Chan, unlike most other coastal ruins in Peru, is located extremely close to the Pacific Ocean. In 1998, The “Master Plan for Conservation and Management of the Chan Chan Archeological Complex” is drawn up by the Freedom National Culture Institute of Peru with contributions from the World Heritage Foundation – WHR, ICCROM and GCI. The Plan is approved by the Peruvian Government, with involvement at the highest levels up until today.
Apr 2, 2013
Even from Port of Rashid the Burj Khalifa can be seen
HDR of Burj Khalifa at sunset
Panorama of Burj Khalifa at sunset
The BurjKhalifa is all lite up at night
On the 124thn floor looking up the rest of the way
Inside the Burj Khalifa looking at the reflection of the ground
Sun star on the Burj Khalifa
Water display in front of the Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa during the day
What a city!
A lot could be said about Dubai, but it probably has all been said before. I want to focus on some of the buildings that one can see in Dubai. The first one of course will be the Tallest building in the World–the Burj Khalifa. It is an amazing building to view and to go into. The high-speed elevator will zip one to the 124th floor in less than one minute.
I feature a few pictures of the Bruj Khalifa with different views, day and night, and from the ground and from the 124th floor.
For an amazing picture from the 124th floor look at-Joe McNally’s Instagram photo http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/20/joe-mcnally-burj-khalifa-skyscraper-photo-picture_n_2917817.html–The picture I wish I had taken when I was there!
1. Burj Khalifa is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
2. It’s 828 metres tall (2,717 feet).
3. The exact height was not revealed until final stages of the construction.
4. It was officially opened on Jan 4, 2010.
5. It was previously known as Burj Dubai.
6. Burj means Tower in Arabic language.
7. It’s renamed after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi.
8. Tallest building – previously Taiwan’s Taipei 101 (509m).
9. Tallest free-standing structure – previously Canada’s CN Tower (555m).
10. Tallest man-made structure – previously USA’s KVLY-TV Mast (629m).
11. Tallest man-made structure ever – previously Poland’s Warsaw Radio Mast (647m).
12. Building with most floors (160) – previously USA’s World Trade Center (110).
13. Highest elevator installation.
14. Highest outdoor observation deck (~440m)
15. Highest mosque at 158th floor.
16. Highest (insert here) which requires another long list to be completed ;p
17. Fastest elevators at speed of 64km/h, or 18m/s.
18. It would take just a minute to reach from ground level to top floor.
19. Burj Dubai has more than 162 floors.
20. It has 49 office floors.
21. It houses 1044 residential apartments.
22. It has a floor area of 334,000 square metres.
23. There’s 57 lifts in the tower.
24. There’s 28,261 of glass-panels on the exterior of the tower.
25. Its top spire can be seen from 95km afar.
26. The architecture features a triple-lobed footprint, an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower.
27. The Y-shaped floor plan aims to maximize views of the Gulf.
28. Over 1,000 pieces of art from prominent Middle Eastern and international artists will adorn the tower and the surrounding Emaar Boulevard.
29. The tower’s peak electricity demand is estimated at 50MVA, equivalent to roughly 500,000 100-watt light bulbs.
30. It’s expected to use an average of 946,000 litres of water each day.
31. During peak cooling conditions, the tower will require around 12,500 tons of cooling, equivalent to the cooling capacity of about 10,000 tons of melting ice.
32. Construction began in September 2004.
33. The tower’s architect and engineer is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (Chicago).
34. The main constructor is Emaar Properties, a joint venture by Korea’s Samsung C&T, Belgium’s Besix and UAE’s Arabtec.
35. The construction project manager is Turner Construction Company.
36. Bill Baker is the chief structural engineer.
37. Adrian Smith is consulting design partner.
38. It took some 22 million man-hours to be completed.
39. On downside, foreign construction workers were pay as little as $4 per day.
40. Over 45,000 cubic-metres of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes, were used.
41. Concrete used was enough to lay a 2,065km-long pavement; and equivalent to the weight of 100,000 elephants.
42. Total weight of aluminium used is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft.
43. Total length of stainless steel bull nose fins used is equal to 293 times the height of France’s Eiffel Tower.
44. The foundations were dug to depths of 50m.
45. Total cost estimated at US$1.5 billion.
46. The price for the offices spaces reached as high as US$4,000 per sq ft.
47. Residential spaces as high as US$3,500 per sq ft.
48. The building is part of the a 490-acre flagship development called Downtown Burj Khalifa.
49. Burj Khalifa is about twice the height of Empire State Building (443m).
50. It’s taller than Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak (552m).
51. It’s the first world’s tallest structure in history to include residential space.
52. It will feature the world’s first Armani Hotel, which occupies 15 of the lower 39 floors.
53. The exterior temperature at the top of will be 6°C cooler than its base (some say 10°C).
54. Jan 4, its opening date, was the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton.
55. Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower when it’s fully occupied.
56. The tower’s official website is www.burjkhalifa.ae.
Posted from Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.
Mar 16, 2013
A Komodo Dragon alert and looking around
A Dragon walking near the entrance to the Park
Look at the long Tail
Check out the Smithsonian magazine of February 2013 for more information on the Dragons.
Some information on the Dragons-Taken from Wikipedia
The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of 3 metres (10 ft) in rare cases and weighing up to around 150 kilograms (330 lb). Their unusual size has been attributed to island gigantism, since no other carnivorous animals fill the niche on the islands where they live.
However, recent research suggests the large size of Komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relict population of very large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia, most of which, along with other megafauna, died out after the Pleistocene. Fossils very similar to V. komodoensis have been found in Australia dating to greater than 3.8 million years ago, and its body size remained stable on Flores, one of the handful of Indonesian islands where it is currently found, over the last 900,000 years, “a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island’s megafauna, and the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka.”
As a result of their size, these lizards dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Their group behaviour in hunting is exceptional in the reptile world. The diet of big Komodo dragons mainly consists of deer, though they also eat considerable amounts of carrion. Komodo dragons also occasionally attack humans in the area of West Manggarai Regency where they live in Indonesia.
In the wild, an adult Komodo dragon usually weighs around 70 kg (150 lb), although captive specimens often weigh more. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, an average adult male will weigh 79 to 91 kg (170 to 200 lb) and measure 2.59 m (8.5 ft), while an average female will weigh 68 to 73 kg (150 to 160 lb) and measure 2.29 m (7.5 ft). The largest verified wild specimen was 3.13 m (10.3 ft) long and weighed 166 kg (370 lb), including undigested food. The Komodo dragon has a tail as long as its body, as well as about 60 frequently replaced, serrated teeth that can measure up to 2.5 cm (1 in) in length. Its saliva is frequently blood-tinged, because its teeth are almost completely covered by gingival tissue that is naturally lacerated during feeding. This creates an ideal culture for the bacteria that live in its mouth. It also has a long, yellow, deeply forked tongue. Komodo dragon skin is reinforced by armoured scales, which contain tiny bones called osteoderms that function as a sort of natural chain-mail. This rugged hide makes Komodo dragon skin poorly suited for making into leather.
The Komodo dragon does not have an acute sense of hearing, despite its visible earholes, and is only able to hear sounds between 400 and 2000 hertz.
The Komodo dragon uses its tongue to detect, taste, and smell stimuli, as with many other reptiles, with the vomeronasal sense using the Jacobson’s organ, rather than using the nostrils. With the help of a favorable wind and its habit of swinging its head from side to side as it walks, a Komodo dragon may be able to detect carrion from 4–9.5 km (2.5–5.9 mi) away. It only has a few taste buds in the back of its throat. Its scales, some of which are reinforced with bone, have sensory plaques connected to nerves to facilitate its sense of touch. The scales around the ears, lips, chin, and soles of the feet may have three or more sensory plaques.
The Komodo dragon prefers hot and dry places, and typically lives in dry, open grassland, savanna, and tropical forest at low elevations. As an ectotherm, it is most active in the day, although it exhibits some nocturnal activity. Komodo dragons are solitary, coming together only to breed and eat. They are capable of running rapidly in brief sprints up to 20 km/h (12 mph), diving up to 4.5 m (15 ft), and climbing trees proficiently when young through use of their strong claws. To catch out of reach prey, the Komodo dragon may stand on its hind legs and use its tail as a support. As it matures, its claws are used primarily as weapons, as its great size makes climbing impractical.
Posted from Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States.