Sunday, 24 May 2009

The Elgin Bridge (Chatspam card from Relie:))


Elgin Bridge is a vehicular bridge that spans across the Singapore River, and links the Downtown Core to the Singapore River Planning Area located within Singapore's Central Area.

The existing bridge was completed in 1929, and was named after a Governor-General of India, Lord Elgin (1862 – 1863). As this was the first bridge to be built across the river, the two roads leading to it were named North Bridge Road and South Bridge Road accordingly.


Elgin Bridge is believed to have existed at the place it is currently located as a footbridge as early as 1819[1], the year Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles landed on Singapore. The bridge served as a link between the Chinese community on the southern side of the Singapore River to the Indian merchants of High Street on the northern side, and was once the only place where one could walk across the Singapore River.[1]

Elgin Bridge was rebuilt as a wooden drawbridge in 1822, and was officially named Presentment Bridge. It was also known as Jackson Bridge after Lieutenant Philip Jackson who built the bridge. As it was a very narrow bridge, it was also called Monkey Bridge, as people required some agility to get across it. Its narrowness limited the number of people crossing the bridge at any one time.

In 1843, a wooden footbridge built by John Turnbull Thomson replaced the original wooden drawbridge, but it was demolished in 1862.

Elgin Bridge was later built as an iron bridge in 1862, and named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin who served as the Governor General of India during 1862 – 1863. The iron bridge was demolished in 1925 to make way for a new concrete bridge, but its name remained. Elgin Bridge was opened to traffic by the Governor of the Straits Settlements Sir Hugh Clifford on 30 May 1929.

Cavalari Rudolfo Nolli, an Italian sculptor, designed the elegant cast iron lamps on both sides of the bridge. His signature is inscribed beneath the lamps. Bronze plaques, each with a lion standing in front of a royal palm tree engraved on it, can also be found below the lamps.

Elgin Bridge is known as thih tiau kio in Hokkien, meaning "iron suspension bridge".

On 3 November 2008, the bridge was selected for conversation as part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's expanded conservation programme.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Birthday

This card is from my friend.Thank you,Maarja:)

Guess what I am tag


Saturday, 16 May 2009

Uranus


Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun and the third-largest and fourth most massive planet in the Solar System. It is named after the ancient Greek deity of the sky Uranus (Ancient Greek: Οὐρανός) the father of Kronos (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter). Though it is visible to the naked eye like the five classical planets, it was never recognized as a planet by ancient observers because of its dimness and slow orbit. Sir William Herschel announced its discovery on March 13, 1781, expanding the known boundaries of the solar system for the first time in modern history. This was also the first discovery of a planet made using a telescope.

Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both have different compositions from those of the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. As such, astronomers sometimes place them in a separate category, the "ice giants". Uranus's atmosphere, while similar to Jupiter's and Saturn's in being composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, contains a higher proportion of "ices" such as water, ammonia and methane, along with traces of hydrocarbons. It is the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K (−224 °C). It has a complex, layered cloud structure, with water thought to make up the lowest clouds, and methane thought to make up the uppermost layer of clouds. In contrast the interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.

Like the other giant planets, Uranus has a ring system, a magnetosphere, and numerous moons. The Uranian system has a unique configuration among the planets because its axis of rotation is tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its revolution about the Sun. As such, its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators. Seen from Earth, Uranus's rings can sometimes appear to circle the planet like an archery target and its moons revolve around it like the hands of a clock, though in 2007 and 2008 the rings appeared edge-on. In 1986, images from Voyager 2 showed Uranus as a virtually featureless planet in visible light without the cloud bands or storms associated with the other giants. However, terrestrial observers have seen signs of seasonal change and increased weather activity in recent years as Uranus approached its equinox. The wind speeds on Uranus can reach 250 meters per second (900 km/h, 560 mph).

The Stone Forest


The Stone Forest near Varna.
This postcard shows a natural phenomenon near Varna-a town on Black sea coast.
Aren´t they amazing?Wonderful simply wonderful:)

Thank you:)Childish:)

Royal Castle Neuschwanstein


Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Bavarian palace on a rugged hill near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. Although public photography of the interior is not permitted,it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

Ludwig did not allow visitors to his castles, but after his death in 1886 the castle was opened to the public (in part due to the need to pay off the debts Ludwig incurred financing its construction){fact}. Since that time over 50 million people have visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. About 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared in several movies, and was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at both Disneyland Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.

The palace is owned by the state of Bavaria, unlike nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, which is owned by the head of the house of Wittelsbach, currently Franz, Duke of Bavaria. The Free State of Bavaria has spent more than €14.5 million on Neuschwanstein's maintenance, renovation and visitor services since 1990.

It is really breathtaking view:)Thank you ,Yukiko:)

Belgium


The Kingdom of Belgium is a country innorthwest Europe. It is a founding member of theEuropean Union and hosts its headquarters, as well as those of other major international organizatsions, including NATO and the OECD. Belgium covers an area of 30,528 km2 (11,787 square miles) and has a population of about 10.7 million.

Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home for two main linguistic groups, the Flemings and the French-speakers, mostly Waloons, plus a small group of German speakers.

Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north, with 59% of the population, and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia, inhabited by 31%. The Brussels- capital region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within theFlemish region, and has 10% of the population.A small German-speaking communiti exists in eastern Wallonia.Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political and cultural conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of goverment.


Petronas Twin Towers


The Petronas Twin Towers (also known as the Petronas Towers or just Twin Towers), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are twin towers and were the world's tallest buildings, before being surpassed by Taipei 101. However, the towers are still the tallest twin buildings in the world. They were the world's tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004 if measured from the level of the main entrance to the structural top, the original height reference used by the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat from 1969 (three additional height categories were introduced as the tower neared completion in 1996).

The facade of thf the Petronas Twin Towers features 33 000 panels of unitized curtain wall cladding and 55 000 sq m of laminated glass.The podium of the 88-storey towers contains Suria KLCC,a magnificent shopping mall.The shopping mall is there where you can see the flags:)


Thanks,Ashley:)

München


München(Munich) is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. Munich is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. There are approximately 1.35 million inhabitants within Munich.

The city's motto is "München mag Dich" ("Munich Loves You" in the English version), before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" (world city with heart). Its native name, München, is derived from the Old German word for Mönche, which means "Monks" in English. The reason for naming the city in such a manner is to honour the fact that monks of the Benedictine order founded the city. This is also the reason for the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Black and gold - the colours of the Holy Roman Empire - have been the city's official colours since the time of Ludwig the Bavarian.

Munich is not the only location within Bavaria known as "München". Three such locations exist: the one which is known as "Munich"; another which is northeast of the city of Nuremberg, and also Hutthurm, a town north of the city of Passau.


This card is showing Marienplatz with new and old city hall.

Marienplatz is a central square in the city center of Munich, Germany since 1158.

In the Middle Ages markets and tournaments were held in this city square. The Glockenspiel in the new city hall was inspired by these tournaments, and draws millions of tourists a year.

Marienplatz was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its centre in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation. It is home to Munich's Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus) and the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus).

It's a gothic council hall and ballroom and tower, which have been reconstructed. The New City Hall was built 1867 - 1909 in Flanders gothic style; its facade, over 300 feet in length, features strikingly elaborate stone ornamentation. Its 260-foot tower with carillon is, with the nearby St. Peter's Church and the twin towers of the Cathedral, one of the most distinctive features of the city's skyline." explains muenchen.de, which also ranks Marienplatz as one of the top ten sites in Munich.

The pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz is a crowded area with numerous shops and restaurants.

The Marienplatz S-Bahn and U-Bahn station, an important transportation hub, is located below the square.

Lapland


The Province of Lapland is one of the Provinces of Finland. The municipalities in the province cooperate in a Regional Council, which also makes it the Region of Lapland. It borders the Province of Oulu and the Region of North Ostrobothnia in the south. It also borders to the Gulf of Bothnia, Norrbotten County in Sweden, Finnmark County and Troms County in Norway and to Murmansk Oblast in Russia. In some parts of the world, particularly Britain and Finland itself, it is considered the traditional home of Santa Claus (Joulupukki).
Lapland is renowned as being the land of fells and northern lights, a place with winters where there’s always snow and harsh temperatures. This is true, but Lapland’s nature has plenty more to offer. Lapland has four very distinctly different seasons, a limited but diverse flora and fauna, and expansive river waterways. Lapland’s nature has species typical for such climates, species that are well acclimatized to the changing conditions of the region.

Hong Kong

My very first Hong Kong card and it is from dear friend,Licia:)Aitäh!

This card is showing Tsing Ma Bridge with fireworks.

Wikipedia says so-

The Tsing Ma Bridge is a bridge in Hong Kong. It is the world's seventh-longest span suspension bridge. The bridge was named after two of the islands at its ends, namely Tsing Yi and Ma Wan . It has two decks and carries both road and rail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type. The bridge has a main span of 1,377 metres (4,518 ft) and a height of 206 metres (676 ft). The span is the largest of all bridges in the world carrying rail traffic.

The 41 metres (135 ft) wide bridge deck carries six lanes of automobile traffic, with three lanes in each direction. The lower level contains two rail tracks. There are also two sheltered carriageways on the lower deck for maintenance access and as backup for traffic when particularly severe typhoons strike Hong Kong. Though road traffic would need to be closed in that case, trains could still get through in either direction.


Thank you dear,Licia:)You made my day:)

Along the slovene coast


Slovenian coast may be only 42 km long,but in our small country it´s the qualtiy not quantity ,that counts.Squashed between Italy and Croatia,the Slovenian coast is full of colorful italian-style fhising villlages,olive groves and clean clear water.It´s an idullic place.
Thank you,Leo:)

Mars


Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is also referred to as the "Red Planet" because of its reddish appearance, due to iron oxide prevalent on its surface.

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth. It is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon. Furthermore, in June 2008 three articles published in Nature presented evidence of an enormous impact crater in Mars' northern hemisphere, 10,600 km long by 8,500 km wide, or roughly four times larger than the largest impact crater yet discovered, the South Pole-Aitken basin. In addition to its geographical features, Mars’ rotational period and seasonal cycles are likewise similar to those of Earth.

Until the first flyby of Mars by Mariner 4 in 1965, many speculated that there might be liquid water on the planet's surface. This was based on observations of periodic variations in light and dark patches, particularly in the polar latitudes, which looked like seas and continents, while long, dark striations were interpreted by some observers as irrigation channels for liquid water. These straight line features were later proven not to exist and were instead explained as optical illusions. Still, of all the planets in the Solar System other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbor liquid water, and perhaps life.Radar data from Mars Express and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed the presence of large quantities of water ice both at the poles (July 2005) and at mid-latitudes (November 2008). The Phoenix Mars Lander directly sampled water ice in shallow martian soil on July 31, 2008.

Mars is currently host to three functional orbiting spacecraft: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. With the exception of Earth, this is more than any planet in the Solar System. The surface is also home to the two Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) and several inert landers and rovers, both successful and unsuccessful. The Phoenix lander recently completed its mission on the surface. Geological evidence gathered by these and preceding missions suggests that Mars previously had large-scale water coverage, while observations also indicate that small geyser-like water flows have occurred during the past decade. Observations by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor show evidence that parts of the southern polar ice cap have been receding.

Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped. These may be captured asteroids, similar to 5261 Eureka, a Martian Trojan asteroid. Mars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. Its apparent magnitude reaches −2.9, a brightness surpassed only by Venus, the Moon, and the Sun, although most of the time Jupiter will appear brighter to the naked eye than Mars.


A very big thank you goes to Terra.I love space cards :)

Birthday


Those three beautiful puppies are from my family.Aren´t they beautiful?:)

Spring in Småland


Småland is a historical province (landskap) in southern Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Scania or Skåne, Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. The name Småland literally means Small land.

Småland is Astrid Lindgrens birthplace.
Astrid Lindgren grew up in Näs, near Vimmerby, Småland, and many of her books are based on her family and childhood memories. However, Pippi Longstocking, her most famous character, was invented to please her daughter Karin, who was, at the time, ill and bed-ridden.

Riga


Riga is the capital of Latvia, is situated on the Baltic Sea coast on the mouth of the river Daugava. Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states. The Historic Centre of Riga has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is particularly notable for its extensive Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) architecture, which UNESCO considers to be unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Latvia is a North European Baltic country in the European Union. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (343 km), to the south by Lithuania (588 km), and to the east both by Belarus (141 km) and the Russian Federation (276 km). Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden. The territory of Latvia covers 64,589 km² and has a temperate seasonal climate.

The Latvians are a Baltic people culturally related to the Estonians and Lithuanians, with the Latvian language having many similarities with Lithuanian, but not with the Estonian language. Today the Latvian and Lithuanian languages are the only surviving members of the Baltic languages of the Indo-European family. The modern name of Latvia is thought to originate from the ancient Latvian name Latvji, which, like the name of Lithuania, may have originated from the river named Latva or Latuva, which may be today's Lates upe.

Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and is divided into 26 districts. The capital and largest city is Riga. Latvia has been a member of the United Nations since 17 September 1991, of the European Union since 1 May 2004 and of NATO since 29 March 2004.

San Francisco


The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 13th most populous city in the United States, with a 2008 estimated population of 808,976. It is the most densely populated city in the state, the second most densely populated major city in the U.S., and is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the larger San Francisco Bay Area, a region of more than seven million people.The city is located at the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the north and east.

In 1776, the Spanish established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush in 1848 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth, transforming it into the largest city on the West Coast at the time. After being devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. During World War II, San Francisco was the send-off point for many soldiers to the Pacific Theater. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, and other factors gave rise to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a liberal bastion in the United States.

Today, San Francisco is a popular international tourist destination renowned for its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture and its famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the cable cars, and Chinatown.


This card comes from Sontaca;)Thank you.

Guardian angel


Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day/night be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule and guide.
Amen.
This is the traditional Catholic prayer to one's guardian angel.

One of my very very fave cards.It is soo beautiful:)

A guardian angel is an angel assigned to protect and guide a particular person. The concept of tutelary angels and their hierarchy was extensively developed in Christianity in the 5th century by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.

The theology of angels, and tutelary spirits, has undergone many refinements since the 400s, and belief in both the eastern and western churches is that guardian angels protect whichever person to whom God assigns them, and present prayers to God on that person's behalf. The Roman Catholic Church's calendar of saints includes a memorial for the guardian angels on October 2.

The belief that God sends a spirit to watch every individual was common in Ancient Greek philosophy, and was alluded to by Plato in Phaedo, 108. The idea appears in the Old Testament, although it is not specifically articulated nor delineated. The belief that angels can be guides and intercessors for men can be found in Job 33:23-6, and in the Book of Daniel (specifically Daniel 10:13) angels seem to be assigned to certain countries. In this latter case the “prince of the Persian kingdom” was referring to one of the fallen angels also known to many as a demon. The same verse mentions “Michael, one of the chief princes,” and Michael is one of the few angels named in the Bible. In the New Testament Book of Jude Michael is described as an archangel. The Book of Enoch, part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church's canon of scripture, says that God will "set a guard of holy angels over all the righteous" (1En 100:5).
n Matthew 18:10, Jesus says of children: "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven" (New International Version). This is often understood to mean that children are protected by guardian angels, and appears to be corroborated by Hebrews 1:14 when speaking of angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

In Acts 12:12-15 there is another allusion to the belief that a specific angel is assigned to protect each individual. After Peter had been escorted out of prison by an angel, he went to the home of 'Mary the mother of John, also called Mark'. The servant girl, Rhoda, recognized his voice and ran back to tell the group that Peter was there. However the group replied, "It must be his angel"' (12:15). With this scriptural sanction, Peter's angel was the most commonly depicted guardian angel in art, and was normally shown in images of the subject, most famously Raphael's fresco of the Deliverance of Saint Peter in the Vatican.

Sheperd on the high Plateaux of Tibet


Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north of the Himalayas, and the home to the indigenous Tibetan people and some other ethnic groups. With an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft), it is the highest region on Earth and has in recent decades increasingly been referred to as the "Roof of the World".

In the history of Tibet, it has been an independent country, divided into different countries, and a part of China each for a certain amount of time. Tibet was first unified under King Songtsän Gampo in the seventh century. A government nominally headed by the Dalai Lamas, a line of spiritual leaders, ruled a large portion of the Tibetan region at various times from the 1640s until 1950s. During most of this period, the Tibetan administration was subordinate to the Chinese empire of the Qing Dynasty. The 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibet independent in 1913, but this declaration was not accepted by China. Furthermore, Tibet was not recognized by any country as a de jure independent nation. As a measure of the power that regents must have wielded, it is important to note that only three of the fourteen Dalai Lamas have actually ruled Tibet; regents ruled during 77 percent of the period from 1751 until 1960.The Communist Party of China gained control of central and western Tibet (Tibet area controlled by the Dalai Lama) after a decisive military victory at Chamdo in 1950. The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959.

Today, Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in reality and claimed by the Republic of China (ROC) in its constitution while a small part, according to the PRC and the ROC, is controlled by India. Both sides of Chinese government regard Tibet as part of China.Currently, Beijing and the Government of Tibet in Exile disagree over when Tibet became a part of China, and whether the incorporation into China of Tibet is legitimate according to international law[5] (see Tibetan sovereignty debate). Since what constitutes Tibet is a matter of much debate (see map, right) neither its size nor population are simple matters of fact, due to various entities claiming differing parts of the area as a Tibetan region.


The Tibetan Plateau , also known as the Qinghai-Tibetan (Qingzang) Plateau is a vast, elevated plateau in Central Asia covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province in China and Ladakh in Kashmir, India. It occupies an area of around 1,000 by 2,500 kilometers, and has an average elevation of over 4,500 meters. Sometimes called "the roof of the world," it is the highest and biggest plateau, with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers (about four times the size of Texas or France).

The Tibetan Plateau is surrounded by towering mountain ranges. It is bordered to the northwest by the Kunlun Range which separates it from the Tarim Basin, and to the northeast by the Qilian Range which separates the plateau from the Hexi Corridor and Gobi Desert. Near the south the plateau is transected by the Yarlung Tsangpo River valley which flows along the base of the Himalayas, and by the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain. To the east and southeast the plateau gives way to the forested gorge and ridge geography of the mountainous headwaters of the Salween, Mekong, and Yangtze rivers in western Sichuan and southwest Qinghai. In the west it is embraced by the curve of the rugged Karakoram range of northern Kashmir.
It has been empirically shown to be the most remote place on Earth.

Brisbane

From kind and wonderful person....Mr.Teapot:)I bet you all know him:)

This card is showing Brisbane,Australia


Brisbane (pronounced /ˈbrɪzbən/) is the state capital of the Australian state of Queensland and is the largest city in that state. With a population of 1,945,639 it is also the third most populous city in Australia, behind Sydney and Melbourne. The city is situated on the Brisbane River on a low-lying floodplain between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range in south-eastern Queensland. The local indigenous people knew the area as Mian-jin, meaning 'place shaped as a spike'. The city is named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. Brisbane's demonym is a Brisbanite.

The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of Brisbane, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to the now Brisbane central business district in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony in 1859.

Brisbane is controlled by the Brisbane City Council. In 1925, the City of Brisbane Act was passed by the Queensland Government, abolishing 20 local government authorities in the city and forming the largest local authority in Australia, with a population of over a million.

The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during World War II as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur.

More recently, Brisbane hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88 and the 2001 Goodwill Games.

Little Red Riding Hood


This card comes from wonderful Mecu:)
It is from Childrens book illustratsion RR,group 46.
This looks scary and cute at the same time:)

Little Red Riding Hood is a famous fairy tale about a young girl's encounter with a wolf. The story has been changed considerably in its history and subject to numerous modern adaptations and readings.


The version most widely known today is based on the Brothers Grimm variant. It is about a girl called Little Red Riding Hood, after the red hooded cape or cloak she wears. The girl walks through the woods to deliver food to her sick grandmother. A wolf wants to eat the girl but is afraid to do so in public. He approaches the girl, and she naïvely tells him where she is going. He suggests the girl pick some flowers, which she does. In the meantime, he goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. He swallows the grandmother whole, and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandmother. When the girl arrives, she notices he looks very strange to be her grandma, then, eventually he swallows her whole too. A hunter, however, comes to the rescue and cuts the wolf open. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother emerge unharmed. They fill the wolf's body with heavy stones, which kill him. Other versions of the story have had the grandmother shut in the closet instead of eaten, and some have Little Red Riding Hood saved by the hunter as the wolf advances on her rather than after she is eaten.

The tale makes the clearest contrast between the safe world of the village and the dangers of the forest, conventional antitheses that are essentially medieval, though no written versions are as old as that.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia


The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Bulgarian: Храм-паметник „Свети Александър Невски“, Hram-pametnik „Sveti Aleksandar Nevski“) is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Built in Neo-Byzantine style, it serves as the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Bulgaria and is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, as well as one of Sofia's symbols and primary tourist attractions. The St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia occupies an area of 3170 m² and can take 5,000 people inside.
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a cross-domed basilica featuring an emphasized central dome. The cathedral's gold-plated dome is 45 m high, with the bell tower reaching 50.52 m. The temple has 12 bells with total weight of 23 tons, the heaviest weighing 12 tons and the lightest 10 kg. The interior is decorated with Italian marble in various colours, Brazilian onyx, alabaster, and other luxurious materials. The central dome has the Lord's Prayer inscribed around it with thin gold letters.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Greetings from Malaysia


Malaysia (pronounced /məˈleɪʒə/ or /məˈleɪziə/) is a federation that consists of thirteen states and three federal territories in Southeast Asia with a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,355 sq mi). The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population stands at over 27 million.The country is separated into two regions — Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo — by the South China Sea. Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines.The country is located near the equator and experiences a tropical climate. Malaysia's head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the government is headed by a Prime Minister. The government is closely modeled after the Westminster parliamentary system.

Malaysia as a unified state did not exist until 1963. Previously, a set of colonies were established by the United Kingdom from the late-18th century, and the western half of modern Malaysia was composed of several separate kingdoms. This group of colonies was known as British Malaya until its dissolution in 1946, when it was reorganized as the Malayan Union. Due to widespread opposition, it was reorganized again as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and later gained independence on 31 August 1957. Singapore, Sarawak, British North Borneo and the Federation of Malaya joined to form Malaysia on 16 September 1963. The early years of the new union were marred by an armed conflict with Indonesia and the expulsion of Singapore on 9 August 1965.The Southeast Asian nation experienced an economic boom and underwent rapid development during the late-20th century. Rapid growth during the 1980s and 1990s, averaging 8% from 1991 to 1997, has transformed Malaysia into a newly industrialised country. Because Malaysia is one of three countries that control the Strait of Malacca, international trade plays a large role in its economy. At one time, it was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world. Manufacturing has a large influence in the country's economy. Malaysia has a biodiverse range of flora and fauna, and is also considered one of the 18 megadiverse countries.

Malays form the majority of the population of Malaysia. There are sizable Chinese and Indian communities as well. The Malay language and Islam are the official language and religion of the federation respectively.

Malaysia is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and participates in many international organisations such as the United Nations. As a former British colony, it is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is also a member of the Developing 8 Countries.

Spaso-Andronikov Monastery.Cathedral of the Saviour´s Image


St. Andronik Monastery, often transliterated as Andronikov Monastery (Russian: Андро́ников монасты́рь, Спа́со-Андро́ников монасты́рь, or Андро́ников Нерукотво́рного Спа́са монасты́рь) is a former monastery on the left bank of the Yauza River in Moscow, consecrated to the Holy Image of Saviour Not Made by Hands and containing the oldest extant cathedral in Moscow.

The monastery was established in 1357 by Metropolitan Alexis as a way of giving thanks for his survival in a storm. Its first hegumen was Saint Andronik, one of Sergii Radonezhsky's disciples. The extant four-pillared Saviour Cathedral was constructed from 1420–1427. The great medieval painter Andrei Rublev spent the last years of his life at the monastery and was buried there. In addition, one of the largest mass graves for lay brothers (called скудельница, skudelnitsa) was located on the cloister's premises.

In the second half of the 14th century, a monastic quarter formed outside the walls of the Andronikov Monastery, which started producing bricks for the ongoing construction of the Moscow Kremlin (1475). From its beginning, Andronikov Monastery was one of the centres of book copying in Muscovy. Manuscript collection of the cloister included most of the works by Maximus the Greek. In August 1653, archpriest Avvakum was held under arrest at this monastery.

Andronikov Monastery has been ransacked on numerous occasions (1571, 1611, 1812). In 1748 and 1812, its archives were lost in fires. In the 19th century, there were a theological seminary and a library on the cloister's premises. By 1917, there had been seventeen monks and one novice in the monastery.

The monastery cathedral from the 1420s is the oldest surviving building in Moscow.

The Outer Banks,North Carolaina


The Outer Banks is a 200-mile (320-km) long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, beginning in southeastern corner of Virginia Beach on the east coast of the United States. They cover approximately half the northern North Carolina coastline, separating the Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Outer Banks is a major tourist destination and is known for its temperate climate and wide expanse of open beachfront. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has four campgrounds where visitors may camp.

The Wright brothers' first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer Banks on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near the seafront town of Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates the historic flights, and First Flight Airport is a small, general-aviation airfield located there.

The English Roanoke Colony—where the first person of English descent, Virginia Dare, was born on American soil—vanished from Roanoke Island in 1587. The Lost Colony (Play), written and performed to commemorate the original colonists, is the longest running outdoor drama in the United States and its theater acts as a cultural focal point for much of the Outer Banks.

The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located in Hatteras Village near the United States Coast Guard facility and Hatteras ferry.