Thursday, 28 January 2010
Monday, 25 January 2010
The Côte d'Azur, often known in English as the French Riviera, is theMediterranean coastline of the south eastern corner of France, extending from Menton near the Italian border in the east to either Hyères or Cassis in the west.
This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales. In the summer, it also played home to many members of the Rothschild family. In the first half of the 20th century it was frequented by artists and writers, includingPablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham andAldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region. Officially, the Côte d'Azur is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents, although estimates of the number of non-French nationals living in the area are often much higher
Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year. Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or sub-tropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter. During the winter, humpbacks fast and live off their fat reserves. The species' diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net feeding technique.
Like other large whales, the humpback was and is a target for the whaling industry. Due to over-hunting, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a whaling moratorium was introduced in 1966. Stocks have since partially recovered; however, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution also remain concerns. There are at least 80,000 humpback whales worldwide. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpbacks are now sought by whale-watchers, particularly off parts of Australia, Canada, and the United States.
The 980 hectares (2,422 acres) of nature sanctuary owned by Royal Botanical Gardens is considered the plant biodiversity hotspot for Canada, with a very high proportion of the wild plants of Canada in one area; is an Important Bird Area according to Bird Studies Canada and is part of the the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. More than 1,100 species of plants grow within its boundaries including the Bashful Bulrush (Trichophorum planifolium) which is found nowhere else in Canada, and the largest remaining population of Canada's most endangered tree, the Red Mulberry (Morus rubra). Both of these plants are listed as Endangered in Canada under the Species at Risk Act. In 2008, RBG was designated as an Important Amphibian and Reptile Area by CARCNET, the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network.
Very interesting card from SLLiew.This man is playing nose flute.The nose flute is a popular musical instrument played in Polynesia and the Pacific Rim countries.Other versions are found in Africa ,China and India.
Often constructed with a body of bamboo, the body is cut with one closed end and one open end, usually the end that is opposite the slanted hole used for administering the flow of air from the nasal passages. A series of holes in the body of the nose flute allow the player to control the pitch and tone of the sounds produced by placing fingers over the different holes.
Nose flutes may vary slightly in where the nose hole is placed. Some versions have the hole on the side of the bamboo flute, while other designs have the nose hole placed on the plugged end of the flute body. Some designs allow for air to pass from both nostrils into the nose flute, while other types require that the player close off one nostril using the thumb. Some nose flutes are designed so that the instrument is played by using the nostril at an angle, while others require the nostril to be pressed firmly against the nose hole on the instrument.
While bamboo is the main medium for nose flutes, some types are constructed of soapstone or the necks of gourds. As is true of many ethnic instruments that develop in several different cultures, the nose flute has several variations, each of them offering a slightly different way of producing musical notes.
The use of nose flutes is very common in many places such as Polynesia and parts of Africa, and includes a long association with the courtship process in several cultures, as well as a way for lovers to communicate with one another through the medium of music. This is especially significant in cultures where breath is equated with spirit, as it implies the giving of one’s self to a loved one, and receiving back a part of that loved one.
Beautiful and cute lottery card from Carole(Taxingwoman).I really love it :)Another beautiful dog card to my collection.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountainmonastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees to the Buddhist Sangha. The garden and palace were built by King Kasyapa. Following King Kasyapa's death, it was again a monastery complex up to about the 14th century, after which it was abandoned. . The Sigiri inscriptions were deciphered by the archaeologist Senarath Paranavithanain his renowned two-volume work, published by Oxford, Sigiri Graffiti. He also wrote the popular book "Story of Sigiriya".
The Mahavamsa, the ancient historical record of Sri Lanka, describes King Kasyapa as the son of King Dhatusena. Kasyapa murdered his father by walling him alive and then usurping the throne which rightfully belonged to his brother Mogallana, Dhatusena's son by the true queen. Mogallana fled to India to escape being assassinated by Kasyapa but vowed revenge. In India he raised an army with the intention of returning and retaking the throne of Sri Lanka which he considered was rightfully his. Knowing the inevitable return of Mogallana, Kasyapa is said to have built his palace on the summit of Sigiriya as a fortress and pleasure palace. Mogallana finally arrived and declared war. During the battle Kasyapa's armies abandoned him and he committed suicide by falling on his sword. Chronicles and lore say that the battle-elephant on which Kasyapa was mounted changed course to take a strategic advantage, but the army misinterpreted the movement as the King having opted to retreat, prompting the army to abandon the king altogether. Moggallana returned the capital to Anuradapura, converting Sigiriya into a monastery complex.
Alternative stories have the primary builder of Sigiriya as King Dhatusena, with Kasyapa finishing the work in honour of his father. Still other stories have Kasyapa as a playboy king, with Sigiriya a pleasure palace. Even Kasyapa's eventual fate is mutable. In some versions he is assassinated by poison administered by a concubine. In others he cuts his own throat when isolated in his final battle. Still further interpretations have the site as the work of a Buddhist community, with no military function at all. This site may have been important in the competition between the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions in ancient Sri Lanka.