Spectacular Granite Spires at Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine or Towers of Paine are three massive granite pillars jutting out some 2,800 meters above the Patagonian steppe at South America's finest national park, 1,960 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago. These breathtaking spires are flanked by the summit of Paine Grande (3,050 m) and the sharp tusks of black sedimentary peaks known as Los Cuernos (The Horns). Aside from these spectacular granite spires and mountains of the massif that dominate the landscape, the national park also encompasses ridges, crags, glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and lagoons.
The centerpiece of the park is, of course, the three gigantic Towers of Paine. One of the earliest description of the area can be found in a book by Lady Florence Dixie published in 1880, where the British writer refered to the three towers as Cleopatra's Needles. She and her party were the first tourists to visit what is now called Torres del Paine National Park.
The Paine massif is actually a part of the eastern spur of the Andes located on the east side of the Grey Glacier, rising dramatically above the Patagonian steppe. The highest summit of the range is Cerro Paine Grande at an elevation of 2,884 m. The South Tower of Paine is about 2,500 m, while the Central Tower of Paine is about 2,460. There are other smaller summits including the Cuerno Principal, about 2,100 m, and Cerro Paine Chico at about 2,650 m.

Great Photo Reflections 1

World's First Solar Plant That Generates Power at Night

The new Gemasolar Power Plant near Seville in southern Spain is the world's first solar plant to have the capacity to generate electricity even at night. More than 2600 concentrically arranged mirrors spread across 185 hectares of rural land concentrate solar energy towards a centrally located molten nitrate salt tank. As the rays converge, they super-heat the salt to over 900C, causing water around the tank to boil and drive steam turbines. In addition, any superfluous heat generated during the day is stored within the liquefied salt. It acts like a giant thermal battery for driving the turbines at night and during overcast days up to 15 hours at a time with no sunlight. But Seville, being one of the sunniest areas in Europe, this does not happen very often.

Top 10 Olympic Games Firsts

With the London Olympics starting in about 10 hours, the five rings are jangling wildly in excitement. Every four years since 1896, the Olympic have gone on without fail, unsnuffed like the flame of that symbolic torch. Even amidst wars, civil rights tension, and various individual tragedies, the games have championed on, continuing to showcase the fittest our countries have to offer, and the fittest countries over all. For those overwhelmed by more pressing matters than javelins and pole vaults and relay races, these determined athletes provide a great source of inspiration and hope. But we didn’t always have such failsafe outlet in which to instill our pride. It, just like the human race, has come along way since its original inception. Here are ten Olympic firsts.
First Recorded Games
The first recorded games occurred in Olympia, Greece in 776 B.C. (they could have occurred earlier, but no other written record can account for anything otherwise). This was back in the Greece’s polytheistic days, where in which the games were held in honor of Zeus and also as test of human greatness. The ancient games were much different than today’s games as they were played only amongst the Greeks, mostly men. Also there were much fewer games–including pentathlons, running, wrestling, boxing, and myriad horse-riding events–and much more sacrificial slaughters of oxen. These paganistic games eventually came to a halt by a Christianity-imposing Thedosius I in 394 A.D.

Seeds Under Microscope

seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. Seeds have been an important development in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants, relative to more primitive plants such as mosses, ferns and liverworts, which do not have seeds and use other means to propagate themselves.
In this showcase you will find rare photos of seeds under microscope. Enjoy watching !


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Great Photo Reflections 2

World Of Nature

We share our world with many other species and live in an ever-changing environment. Fortunately, photographers around the world have captured the moments and beauty that allow us to see amazing views of this awe-inspiring planet. This is a collection of favorite photos from The Natural World gallery in 2011, a showcase of images of animals and environment that runs on Boston.com throughout the year. Next week's posts will take a look at the year in photos, so stay tuned. -Leanne Burden Seidel 

Seahorses are displayed at an endangered species exhibition at London Zoo. ( Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

अंतिम संस्कार के सबसे अनोखे तरीके

मौत एक ऐसा शब्द है, जो दुख और गम का प्रतीक है। किसी इंसान का दुनिया से चले जाना उसके परिवारजनों और चाहने वालों के लिए काफी दुखदायी होता है। दुनिया की अलग-अलग सभ्यताओं और धर्मों में इंसान की मौत पर भांति-भांति के रीति-रिवाजों का चलन है। 
कई पश्चिमी देशों में व्यक्ति की मौत के बाद समारोह आयोजित कर जश्न मनाया जाता है। यह जश्न इसलिए मनाया जाता है, क्योंकि कुछ मान्यताओं के अनुसार इंसान को मौत के बाद सांसारिक दुखों से मुक्ति मिल जाती है। वहीं, दूसरी ओर कुछ धर्मों में मृत व्यक्ति को जलाया और दफनाया जाता है। 

10 इंच बरसात करवाने की दी गारंटी

गोंडल (गुजरात)। इंद्रदेव की बेरूखी से आम-खास हर वर्ग का चिंतित होना लाजिमी है। चौतरफा कमजोर मानसून की चिंता के बीच गुजरात में बारिश करवाने के लिए एक समझौता (एमओयू) हुआ है। समझौता पूर्व केन्द्रीय मंत्री व गुजरात गौ-सेवा आयोग चेयरमेन डॉ. वल्लभभाई कथीरिया व अन्य ने शोधकर्ता के साथ किया है।

तद्नुसार शोधकर्ता राजकोट जिले में 10 दिन में 10 इंच बारिश करवाएगा। वह ऐसा करने में सफल रहा तो उसे निजी स्तर पर समझौता करने वाले पक्षकारों की ओर से 50 लाख रुपए की जाएगी। शोधकर्ता मोहनभाई वेकरिया ने 12 साल मेहनत कर ’मेघराज रैन मेकर’ नामक मशीन बनाई है।

हालांकि उन्होंने मशीन के मिकैनिज्म का ब्यौरा देने से इंकार कर दिया। उन्होंने कहा कि यह जैविक पद्घति पर चलने वाली मशीन है। शोधकर्ता से समझौता करने वाले पक्षकारों ने गुरुवार दोपहर तीन बजे मशीन को स्टार्ट कर दिया। अब 48 घंटे अर्थात शनिवार दोपहर तीन बजे के बाद कभी भी राजकोट में घनघोर बारिश शुरू हो जाएगी। शोधकर्ता का दावा है कि एक बार बारिश आरंभ होने पर जब तक मशीन बंद नहीं की जाएगी बारिश का क्रम जारी रहेगा। 

Magnificent Glacier Waterfalls in Svalbard, Norway

Svalbard, which means "cold coasts", is an archipelago in the Arctic, constituting the northernmost part of Norway as well as of Europe. It is located about 400 miles north of mainland Europe, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Despite being so close to the North Pole, Svalbard is comparatively warm, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, which makes it habitable. In fact, Svalbard is the northernmost permanently inhabited region on the planet.
The islands cover a total area of 62,050 square km, nearly 60% of which is covered by glacier with many outlet glaciers terminating in the sea. Some of these glaciers have small waterfalls formed from melting snow and ice. Most of Svalbard is barren rock but during the short summer, the melting snow in the milder parts of the islands give place to vast stretches of tundra vegetation, sometimes dotted with delicate flowers.
Svalbard is home to seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, environment. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, short legged reindeer, polar foxes, whales, seals and walruses. Svalbard is renowned for its variety of birds, including Arctic Terns, Arctic Fulmar and Puffins. Whales can be spotted off the coastlines particularly during late summer. Humpback whales, Orcas, Beluga Whales, and Narwhals all frequent the ocean waters near Svalbard.

The Incredible Mountain City of La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz whose full name is Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia and the second largest city in the country (in population) after Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Bolivia has two capitals - while the official capital of Bolivia is Sucre and it is the seat of Justice, La Paz has more government departments, hence the "de facto" capital of the country. At a elevation of roughly 3,650 m above sea level, Laz Paz is also the highest de facto capital city in the world.
La Paz is built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River (now mostly built over), which runs northwest to southeast. The city sits in a bowl-like depression surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. As the city continues to grow, it climbs over the hills, the buildings clinging impossibly to the mountain side. The sight from the air as one flies into La Paz is incredible. “First, one sees the sprawling shantytowns of El Alto, slowly giving way to the sight of La Paz itself, clinging tenuously to the sides of what looks like a large gash in the earth”, 


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