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Thursday, October 25, 2012

US concern over Russian activist's detention in Kiev


The US embassy in Moscow has expressed concern over the detention of a Russian opposition activist in Kiev and his transfer to Moscow.
Leonid Razvozzhayev was apparently snatched off the street on Friday in the Ukrainian capital as he sought UN advice about political asylum.
He is accused by Russian investigators of plotting mass disorder in Russia.
Mr Razvozzhayev insists he was kidnapped and tortured but Russian officials say he handed himself in.
Ukraine's interior ministry said police had not got involved because it appeared that Mr Razvozzhayev had been detained not by criminals but by "secret services". There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainian foreign ministry.
A wider investigation is under way in Russia into opposition activists, sparked by allegations made against them in a recent TV documentary.
There are fears among human rights activists and opposition leaders that Russia's legal machinery is being used to repress political dissent.

Detention timeline

  • Thursday (18 October): Russian arrest warrant issued for Leonid Razvozzhayev
  • Friday: Razvozzhayev disappears off the street in Kiev, Ukraine, while taking a break from talks on seeking political asylum
  • Friday-Sunday: Razvozzhayev (by his own account) abducted by masked men and tortured for two days at an unknown location, before being forced to sign a confession
  • Sunday: According to Russian investigators, Razvozzhayev hands himself in to them in Moscow
  • Tuesday: Human rights activists are allowed to visit Razvozzhayev in prison in Moscow

Friday, October 19, 2012

Apple schedules 'iPad Mini' event for October 23


One of the worst-kept secrets in tech has been confirmed: Apple will hold an event October 23 in San Jose, California, at which the company is widely expected to unveil a smaller, cheaper version of its popular iPad.
Apple sent e-mails to members of the press Tuesday that read simply, "We've got a little more to show you. Please join us for an invitation-only event at the California Theatre in San Jose on October 23 at 10:00 a.m."
Unlike last month's invite to the unveiling of the iPhone 5, which contained a not-so-subtle "5" in its graphic, Tuesday's colorful rainbow design offered few hints about what Apple might announce, although the word "little" could be a clue.
Numerous news reports suggest the secretive company will introduce a 7- or 8-inch version of its popular tablet, which currently has a nearly 10-inch screen when measured diagonally.
 Apple introduces 3rd iPad version 2010: Apple iPad revealed
Apple has not confirmed any of these reports, of course. Nor have they revealed what such a mythical device may be called, which hasn't stopped the tech media from labeling it the "iPad Mini."
Other details about the rumored tablet remain vague, although some analysts predict it will not have the high-definition "retina display" that's on the current iPad. Most observers believe it will be priced under $300.
A smaller iPad would allow Apple to compete head-to-head with rival small tablets, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7, that have weakened Apple's domination of the tablet market.
Those devices are priced in the $200 range, while Apple's current iPad lineup starts at $399 for last year's iPad 2 and $499 for the third-generation iPad released in March.
Tuesday's Apple invite came the same day prices were revealed for Microsoft's upcoming line of Surface tablets, which will start at $499 and hit stores October 26.
Some reports also say Apple will introduce other new products at the event, including a 13-inch MacBook Pro with "retina display" and an upgraded Mac Mini.

Internet providers to begin warning customers who pirate content




It is about to get a bit more difficult to illegally download TV shows, movies or music online.
A new alert system, rolling out over the next two months, will repeatedly warn and possibly punish people violating digital copyrights. The Copyright Alert System was announced last July and has been four years in the making.
If you use AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, or Verizon as your Internet service provider, you could receive the first of one of these notes starting in the next two months.
The Internet provider is delivering the message, but the legwork is being done by the copyright owners, which will monitor peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent.
They use a service called MarkMonitor, which uses a combination of people and automated systems to spot illegal downloading. It will collect the IP addresses of offenders, but no personal information. The IP addresses are turned over to the Internet providers, which will match up the address with the right customer and send the notification.
The warning system is described as a graduated response. First the Internet provider will let the customer know that their Internet connection is being used do download content illegally. The note will include information to steer them away from their life of crime, including tips on how they can download content legally.
There will also be tips on securing Internet connections, just in case you were unaware that your neighbor was downloading season three of "Dexter" using your unprotected wireless network.
"The progressive series of alerts is designed to make consumers aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again," the CCI said in its announcement today.
After the educational phase, the customers will be asked to acknowledge that they received the warning. If they continue to download content illegally, the alerts will threaten mild punishments, such as forcing the copyright violator to read "educational materials," or throttling their Internet connection so that it is slow, making it harder to download large files.
Today's announcement claims that terminating the Internet service is not one of the options.
If a customer feels they are being wrongly accused, they can ask for a review, which will cost them $35 according to the Verge.
The entire system will be overseen by an organization called the Center for Copyright Information, which includes content owners, such as the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America, as well as individual members including Disney, Sony Pictures, Fox, EMI and Universal.
Each ISP will have a slightly different version of the system.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Different Types of Natural Resources



























Natural resources are resources in the environment that have not been disturbed by mankind. By resource, one refers to any physical entity which has limited availability. These resources occur in their natural form. Few examples of natural resources are:
  • Air, wind, and atmosphere
  • Plants (Flora)
  • Animals (Fauna)
  • Agronomy (the science of using plants for food, fuel, feed, and fiber)
  • Wildlife
  • Forestry and Agroforestry
  • Coal and fossil fuels
  • Range and pasture
  • Soils
  • Water, oceans, lakes, and rivers
Something that people generally aren't aware of is that everything we use in everyday life is derived from natural resources For example, milk, which comes from cows, makes animals a natural resource. Vegetables that come from plants, salt which is a mineral, are some of the other natural resources. Wood that we get from tree is a natural resource. It can be used to build a house, make paper, burn in fireplaces and in stoves for cooking, etc.

Man utilizes these resources in various ways. They are processed further so as to be made suitable for our needs. The table below is an example that shows in what way the resources have been utilized:

Natural ResourcesMan-made Products
RiverHydroelectric power
PetroleumGasoline
ClamsClam chowder
FarmlandPotato chips
PlantsMedicines

Here are a few natural resources and their uses:

Soil
  • Used for growing crops (only 10% of the Earth's surface).
  • Soil can be used for shelter. Many tribal people all around the world make shelter with the help of soil.
Water
  • Used for drinking (only 0.0007% of Earth's water is suitable for drinking. The rest is salt water, water trapped in glaciers, or polluted water.
  • Freshwater is used for irrigation of crops.
  • Water bodies such as oceans, lakes, and rivers of the world can be used for transportation.
  • Fishing is a valuable source of food that is provided by water.
  • Water in rivers is being used to generate hydro-electricity.
Minerals

Minerals can be defined as naturally occurring substances obtained from the ground. Some examples are coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron, copper, gold, etc. They are also absorbed by plants from the Earth's surface, and are transferred to humans through food.
  • They (coal, natural gas, and fossil fuels) are a source of energy.
  • Used as ingredients to make other materials like iron ore, minerals are also used to make steel, and petroleum which is used to make a variety of products like gasoline, plastics, etc.
  • Can be used in natural form like salt.
Vegetation
  • Land is used for farming from which vegetables and fruits are grown.
  • Wood from trees is cut and processed to make furniture for home.
  • Wood is used for cooking and also as fuel to produce heat for warmth.
  • Clothing - clothes are made from cotton.
  • Plants are used as an ingredient in medicines.
Animals
  • Animals are used as food, and their waste is used as fertilizers for crops.
  • We get fur and hides from animals which are used for making clothes.
  • Used for transportation.
Natural resources can further be defined as renewable and non-renewable. Renewable resources are those that can be produced again, for example, plants and animals, whereas, nonrenewable resources are those which cannot be produced again, for example, fossil fuels.

We need to make serious attempts to use natural resources in an efficient manner because in recent years, natural resources have depleted as a result of their careless use. The seriousness of the problem can be understood from the words of former American president Theodore Roosevelt, "The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

1401 Queens Way - Sunset Strip


1401 Queens Way - Sunset Strip
4 bedrooms / 5 baths

Hovering just above the bright lights of the city, Bowery Design once again delivers timeless design to The Sunset Strip. This four-bedroom/five-bath residence not only resonates with the energy of The Strip, but adds an architecturally iconic statement to the profile of it. Towering ceiling heights, an open floor plan, walls of glass and endless views draw inspiration from superlative Meatpacking District lofts. Warm and organic finishes such as reclaimed barn wood ceilings, split-face Jerusalem stone walls and wide-plank oak floors provide a warmth and intimacy.


Designed for small or large scale entertaining, features include an infinity pool and spa; an envious master suite with its own approx 1,000 sq ft entertaining deck with wet bar, fireplace and firepit; and Vantage lighting and home automation. This just-completed and meticulously executed home is perfect for the buyer who wants to connect with the pulse of the city and embrace the rare opportunity to reside within the nucleus of the world famous Sunset Strip and to own the same real estate as the Mondrian, SkyBar, House of Blues, Chateau Marmont and the rest of The Strip’s most coveted shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

301 N. Rockingham Avenue


301 N. Rockingham Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90049

7 Bedrooms / 5.5 Baths

In 1926, as his exquisite Santa Barbara Biltmore hotel was nearing completion, acclaimed California architect Reginald D. Johnson designed an estate on Brentwood Park's Rockingham Rim. Today,the magnificent Spanish Colonial he created, set on 1.28 secluded acres, has come on the market for the first time in fifty years. Visitors approach via a long drive ending in a circular motor court. There, behind secluded gates, lies a park-like setting with amazing mature greenery, highlighted by a rose garden. Inside, everything opens to nature. Move from the front courtyard into the vast entry, and you'll glimpse a romantic, hidden inner courtyard with veranda complete with its own service area. The step-down living room and library open onto this exquisite, intimate setting. An enchanting garden view is the centerpiece in the formal dining room. Three fireplaces enhance the ambiance of the residence. Downstairs there is a guest bedroom and bath and two maid's quarters with a shared bath. A dramatic grand staircase leads to the second floor, with four bedrooms and three baths. Windows on this level overlook the green beauty of mature trees, exquisite gardens and the vista to the ocean beyond. Outside, three garages are flanked by a chauffeur's quarters and a potting room. A graceful free-form pool with a pool house provides an inviting natural oasis.

Friday, October 5, 2012

THE BARN-STYLE BEACH HOUSE, LONG ISLAND

A truly extraordinary place, this barn-style beach house sits right on the sand at Long Island's charming village of Quogue  and is the weekend escape of New York designer Rick Livingston and his partner. They rented it for 10 summers before deciding to finally buy it. But instead of knocking it down, they simply updated the simple timber dwelling with some imaginative decorating. Vintage ladders, white shutters for wardrobe doors, a fabulous rope chandelier from Mexico, inspiring artwork, cosy seating, a restrained colour scheme, and of course the all-important deck for luncheons overlooking the sea. Down to earth decorating, indeed.

Kareena Kapoor is Bollywood's most profitable actress


It is very common to give credits to the male protagonists of Bollywood films when the box-office collection gets multiplied, but it cannot be denied that actresses also play a pivotal role for the success of films. And actress Kareena Kapoor is undeniably one of the best actresses in the industry who had delivered some of the biggest grossing films. Adding another feather to her hat, Kareena Kapoor recently emerged ETC's Most Profitable Actress at the Bollywood Business Awards. With a domestic box office collections of 200 crore plus movies under her belt, Kareena emerged the unquestionable money spinner female actor.

The actress in the year 2011, had two 100 crore plus films -BODYGUARD (141 crore) and RA.ONE and was honored at the Bollywood Business Awards, on pure basis of box office collections.


download KAREENA KAPOOR wallpapers

On the occasion said Kareena Kapoor, "Receiving an award wherein you are being adjudged considering the economic quotient as a cornerstone for mapping the success gives you a sense of pride. I've always maintained that commercial success is as important as the critical success of a movie. A commercially successful movie pays evidence to the fact that viewers loved watching your movie. Thank you, for appreciating and recognizing my work."

CHECK OUT: Kareena or Katrina, who will bag KJo-Ekta's next?

Standing tall amidst an industry ruled by the leading men, Bollywood's Numero Uno Kareena Kapoor is the first actress to join the much coveted 100 crore club. Having starred in four films that have netted over 100 crore at the domestic box office in less than 2 years, a feat no other Bollywood star has achieved so far, Kareena Kapoor has established herself a force to reckon with. Starting with 3 IDIOTS which earned Rs 170 crore locally, GOLMAAL 3 mopping up Rs 108 crore, followed by the 141 crore grosser BODYGUARD, and the VFX magnum opus RA.ONE.

Says trade analyst, "There is no competition to Kareena Kapoor. Talking about numbers and standings in the industry, she is the entire 1-10 margin. She is the Amitabh Bachchan of her time. There were constant comparisons with her contemporaries but with her recent films she is here to prove that she is her only competition."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Portola Valley, California













Portola Valley, California
STATS
7 bedrooms
7 baths, 3 half baths
13,000 sq. ft.
$16 million
Pedigree: Modeled after a Florentine villa, this 1920s Bay Area estate was built by architect George Schastey for San Francisco business magnate Herbert Edward Law. The construction incorporates an array of refined elements, among them Renaissance-period wood carvings, imported stained glass windows, and reclaimed Italian columns.

Property Values: Spread across the 28.5 acres are a guesthouse, two pools, a tennis court, an apiary, and a vineyard.

Talking Point: A private recital hall invites impromptu performances.



Volvo You Concept

Volvo You Concept

Volvo You Concept

Following on from the reveal of the Volvo Universe Concept earlier in 2011, the Frankfurt Motorshow marks the debut of an evolution to the Universe Concept - Volvo You Concept - and gives another insight into Volvo Cars future. Both concept cars are being used as design studies to obtain input from the global car buying public to find the ultimate design of the next large sedan from Volvo.

"Volvo You Concept gives a good indication of what you can expect from our next large sedan. The blend of contemporary Scandinavian design, exquisite craftsmanship and intuitive technology will appeal to luxury car buyers all over the world," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

The Volvo You Concept, combines a sleek coupé-like exterior with a luxurious high-tech interior that keeps the driver in command via intuitive smart pad technology. Volvo You Concept's luxurious interior gives luxury sedan customers a full experience of the craftsmanship and intuitive technology that will be the hallmark of future Volvos.

Global Feedback

The company has collected global feedback on Universe Concept, both through surveys and by closely monitoring social media comments.

"The most valuable input has been used in the development of the Volvo You Concept. This car features a more daring, coupé -like profile than the Universe Concept, while the front moves towards a more classic Volvo look," explains Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo You Concept (2011)
2011 Volvo You Concept

He added, "The fastback profile mirrors a strong trend among European buyers. With growing signs that Chinese "taste buds" are moving rapidly in the same direction, our main aim is to explore how daring our next large sedan should be in order to be a global success. We are very eager to hear what people think about the Volvo You Concept."

Cars Designed Around People

Volvo Car Corporation's strategy is to achieve profitable growth by being a truly global company with products designed around customers' needs and lifestyle.

"With our hearts in Sweden and our eyes and ears all over the world, we intend to be the brand that best interprets what buyers of modern luxury cars want," says Stefan Jacoby. He adds:

"The Volvo You Concept reflects how people's perception of luxury is moving beyond the traditional perspective. There is a growing appreciation for the ingenious blend of elegant design, superior craftsmanship and smart technology."

Several aspects of the new strategy

The Volvo You Concept radiates several aspects of Volvo Car Corporation's new, customer focused "Designed Around You" strategy:

    It is a large, luxurious sedan with a new, sculpted Scandinavian form language that also honours the sweeping, elegant lines of classic Volvo models.
    The inspiration from - and cooperation with - a number of world famous brands demonstrates the level of exquisite craftsmanship customers can expect from future Volvo models.
    The concept car reveals how Volvo's new Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) opens up dynamic design possibilities - on top of the technological and industrial advantages.
    By bringing the latest intuitive smart pad technology into the car, Volvo Car Corporation emphasises its ambition to lead the development of super-functional connectivity features in cars.

Volvo makes life less complicated and more enjoyable

Volvo Car Corporation aims to make people's lives less complicated and more enjoyable while strengthening the company's established commitment to safety and the environment.

"We will compete with the best with our special kind of luxury. Volvo's cars are intuitive and uncomplicated. Our customers don't have to give away driving pleasure to drive safely. They can be environmentally conscious and still indulge the pure joy of owning a luxury car," Stefan Jacoby concludes

Touch-control cockpit and pure craftsmanship

The luxurious interior of the Volvo You Concept features a blend of intuitive smart pad technology and first-class craftsmanship.

"The Volvo You Concept explores new territories in our search for the ultimate intuitive car that makes the owners manual a thing of the past. Smart phones and smart pads have brought mobile infotainment into a new era. Here, we use a number of touch-screens to replace buttons and controls in order to make the driver totally connected, totally in control. The technology also helps us to create a refreshingly uncluttered interior," explains Peter Horbury.

The Volvo You Concept control centre consists of four main areas; a digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM), a head-up display on the windscreen, a touch-screen in the upper part of the centre console and a touch-screen between the two individual rear seats. The wood/leather steering wheel has aluminium and glass paddles with integrated touch-screens.

The touch-screen in the upper part of the centre console remains in sleep mode until the driver looks at it. A hidden infrared camera registers the eye movements and information is displayed on the screen.

Another sensor registers hand movements and triggers the Infotainment system's control mode. The possibilities vary depending on whether the screen is approached by the driver or by the front passenger.

"Certain functions, such as surfing the Web, are only accessible from the passenger side while the car is rolling. The technology knows who is the present operator and adapts itself automatically," says Peter Horbury.

The driver can "flip" data from the central touch-screen to the head-up display and can exchange data with the rear passengers. A light guide in the free-floating centre console indicates file transfer.

Unique air-powered sound system

The Infotainment system also integrates a high-end sound system from Alpine. It features the unique "FreshAir" subwoofer - a not yet released technology that uses the air outside the car to create the ultimate listening experience.

The sound system consists of small, optimised units that considerably cut weight - while still producing a better sound than today's systems.

Comfortable and cultivated

The interior is dedicated to offer design-driven customers a comfortable, cultivated, Scandinavian inspired environment that is also user-focused and refreshingly uncomplicated. Every detail has been chosen with the customer experience in focus.

The interior is driver-orientated at the front and comfortably relaxed in the rear. The dark colour scheme in the front seats fades seamlessly towards the rear until it fully transforms into a light rear seating area. The interior moulds into the rear seat and becomes part of the seating environment.

Volvo Car Corporation has partnered with several other famous brands in order to create a genuine feeling of luxury with the right Scandinavian touch.

Leather, suede and suit fabric

The four individual seats blend chrome-free leather from Bridge of Wear with Dinamica ecological suede. The off-black front seats have suede in the centre to create optimal grip. The soft beige rear seats are designed for pure comfort with leather in the centre and suede on the sides.

The Volvo You Concept design also integrates the luxurious qualities of a tailor made suit into the car. The back of the front seats and the door panels feature exclusive Italian fabric and designs from Swedish fashion house Oscar Jacobson.

The designers have also been generous with large, handcrafted pieces of walnut - accompanied by leather panels, Dinamica suede roof lining and carefully chosen aluminium details.

Hand-tufted wool carpets

The wooden floor, which echoes Scandinavian homes, is covered with a specially designed hand-tufted carpet from world-famous Swedish brand Kasthall. Just like the rest of the interior, it fades from dark in the front to light in the rear. The front texture has a sporty firmness, while the rear part of the carpet is luxuriously soft.

Inspiration from Georg Jensen

The Volvo You Concept is finished in a light blue, liquid metal paint from DuPont. The ventilated disc brakes are developed by Volvo's racing specialists Polestar.

The car's fastback silhouette is emphasised by the 21-inch polished aluminium wheels with a twisted twin-spoke design and tyres from Pirelli (275/30/21).

Up front, the Volvo You Concept grille - which has a more classic appearance than the Universe Concept - features details with the same beautifully polished craftsmanship.

"The design of the wheels, the grille and details in the innovative headlamps have been inspired by the exquisite works of world-famous Danish design house Georg Jensen. Their precious items capture the essence of Scandinavian design. Uncluttered, organic surfaces and superb craftsmanship that radiate timeless luxury," says Peter Horbury. He adds:

"This eternal beauty of Georg Jensen design is what we are aiming for with the whole concept car. Just like the finest luxury goods, this design should feel handcrafted and durable enough to stand the test of time."

People and Water - Water Talk with Slovak NGO Chairman Michal Kravcik on the Eve of Copenhagen Conference - 1/2

NGO Chairman Michal Kravcik

Water is a mirror of the human culture. The results of Copenhagen´s Conference could have fundamental effect on stopping adverse and risky trends of climatic changes on Planet Earth.
Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in his "Memory for Forgetfulness" says about water": Who says water has no color, flavor of smell? Water does have a color that reveals itself in the unfolding of thirst... And water has the flavor of water, and a fragrance that is the scent of the afternoon breeze blown from a field with full ears of wheat waving in a luminous expanse strewn like the flickering spots of light left by the wings of a small sparrow fluttering low".

People and Water NGO encourages Slovaks to take advantage of their newly-minted democracy by organizing town meetings where citizens questioned officials about the legality of water usage. As result, in November 1996, the Environmental Ministry canceled the dam proposal. It was Michal Kravcik, Chairman of People and Water NGO who showed how drinking reservoirs had not been used in full and how much water was wasted by an old and repair - needed distribution systems. His alternative plan outlined the repair of these problems while minimizing the impact on environment.

The mission of the undertaking "People And Water" is to provide services to municipal and rural communities, mostly within the Carpathian region. The goal is to solve the economic, social, cultural and environmental problems on a grassroots level by encouraging citizens to be active through development, renewal and promotion of the traditional culture and diversity of this region.

In booklet "Alternative Wastewater Treatment" meant for professionals, local governments, and others wishing to solve problems related to the treatment and discharge of wastewater in small communities, Kravcik offers alternative, decentralized solutions to the traditional wastewater treatment plants typically used by larger communities. This pilot project is meant as model wastewater treatment for more than 2,400 villages in Slovakia.

Mr. Michal Kravcik, Chairman of the Slovak NGO People and Water, welcome to the interview

Q: With a group of Czech and Slovak activist, you are all set to participate at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen from 7 - 18 December 2009. Your contribution is titled "The Substantial Role of Water in the Climate System of the Earth". What are your expectations from Copenhagen conference and the role of water in the climate system of earth?
Michal Kravcik: My expectations are simple: to incorporate in the Copenhagen Protocol a mechanism of using water for recovery of the climate based not only on local and regional - but also on continental and global level of the Planet Earth. Until now, all initiatives for solution of climatic changes addressed only CO2 reduction, and through this, to stop the breakup of the Earth´s climatic system.

Somehow we keep forgetting that water is the thermoregulator of heat. So where there is enough water, the landscape heats only slowly, while where is dry weather, the landscape overheats fast reaching big differences in temperature e.g. between night and day - or winter and summer. According to our estimates, each year over 700 billion m3 rainwater vanishes from continents - that in the past had been soaked and saturated in soil, and evaporated in the atmosphere. This is how rainwater kept the climate within limits - without any extreme floods, droughts or sudden shifts in climate.

Q: Climate change is here. It's a reality. It's not in the imagination or a vision of the future. Climate change adds to the existing problems. It makes everything more complex. It's here now and we have to change. With your team you are author of "The New Theory of Global Warming", can you explain?
Michal Kravcik: Due to the built infrastructure of tiny canals, ditches, gullies and drains, the continents are getting rid of water from small hydrological cycles - water which then accumulates in the oceans. Because of reduction of volume of soaked rainwater in the soil, and reduction of evaporation, a huge amount of heat accumulates in the atmosphere, overheating it and creating chaos in the atmosphere. As a result, extreme weather increases, bringing about more frequent and more extreme floods, droughts and related risks of water insufficiency, famine and conflicts, while endangering the food safety.

In order to avoid all this, it is enough to create conditions globally that would allow rainwater - that has been currently flowing uselessly into seas - to stay and keep at the continents so that it could saturate in soil and evaporate into the atmosphere. Such creation of conditions for area / blanket / retention of rainwater at the continents requires a fundamental change in rainwater management, different to the existing principle - i.e. that rainwater is only a wastewater that we have to get rid of as quickly as possible - to a principle that it is vital to let rainwater to soak in the soil and return into the atmosphere. Change of water paradigm may result in the recovery of climate in ten years, while provide enough water for humans, food and nature.

Implementation of this concept may create several tens millions of jobs, which - in our present day global economic crisis - is by no means little.

Q: Your covering letter begins with a proverb of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who wrote over 18 centuries ago: "A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission" (Meditations, 9,5). The emperor-philosopher wrote part of his book on the banks of river Granova, what is now a Slovak river Hron. Can you explain and also the role of the Slovak river Hron?
Michal Kravcik: Emperor Marcus Aurelius mentions the Hron river as a place where he stayed when reinforcing his defense positions at the Northern borders of the Roman Empire. The river which in total length lies in the present Slovak territory, reminds us of the long years that this noble emperor spent at the then barbarians´ territory, and of his sense of duty to prepare himself for future threats.

Q: The need of the hour for humans is to change. One of my favorite songs by recently deceased King of Pop Michael Jackson says: "Make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race - there are people dying -if you care enough for the living -make a better place for you and for me. How we can do that?
Michal Kravcik: Water is a unique phenomenon on our Planet Earth, vital for the existence of life. Therefore, if we respect idea that water is our "common good", then it is unacceptable that we are expelling that "common good" from our environment - out to the sea. One of simple possibilities how to make good things is e.g. to let the rainwater pour down from the roofs not to the drains/sewerages, but to a garden pond, which will be giving joy not only myself, but also yourself. Such garden pond will contribute to recovery of the micro-climate in the area bringing back life and enjoyment of our environment, where we live, because the little pond´s micro-climate will have positive effect also on the surrounding environment´s micro-climate.

Water is a mirror of the human culture. The native people did not require mirrors to see themselves - they just looked into the water.

Q: At the same time voice are becoming louder that we shouldn't pin too many hopes on climate meeting at Copenhagen. What can be accomplished at Copenhagen?
Michal Kravcik: The results of the Copenhagen´s Conference could have fundamental effect on stopping the adverse and risky trends of climatic changes at the Planet Earth. There is, however, a great danger that some sort of "mass hysteria" may arise which would repress minority voices for possible alternative solutions - which could address the water issue in a more effective, cheaper and less conflicting way.

I feel that, up to now, the „carbon lobby" still persists and prevails, and is quite successful in making business with the greenhouse effects, without any essential attempts to stop the climatic changes. By adopting alternative approaches, the lobby would obviously lose profits. Strangely enough, this particular lobby managed to drag on their side also the most important environmental movements of the world.

My fear is that the Copenhagen Summit on the Climatic Change will be continuation of the fight against the climatic change only at the marginal front, without really adopting meaningful steps to stop the climatic change.

Q: The problem won`t go away and some say that the game of percentage cuts on past emission is fundamentally stupid, would it be better to talk real figures as how much more CO2 we can afford to dump into the atmosphere in the rest of this century. What is your view?
Michal Kravcik: I will answer by using the ideas of two Russian scientists, V.G. Gorshkov and A.M. Makariev: An organic carbon has been constantly entering the biosphere from the Earth´s crust. With the given inputs during the last billion of years, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere today should be a thousand times bigger in comparison with the current state. Thanks to the biotic regulation the sequestration compensated relatively very precisely the inorganic carbon emissions. In order to compensate the current anthropogenic carbon emissions, it would be enough to reduce the areas used by humans by ca 7 %, and at the same area, to restore the natural or close-to-natural ecosystems.

The Planet Mars´ atmosphere, for example, contains 95 % of CO2, while the Planet Earth´s atmosphere only 0,03 %. Despite this, the greenhouse effect on the Earth is six times greater than that on Mars. Even if we include the differences in both planets´s densities in the calculation, we can explain this discrepancy only by existence of water vapors and clouds at the Planet Earth. The difference in temperatures on Mars are more dramatic than those on the Earth. Despite the negative image created by mass media concerning fight against the greenhouse gases emissions, the climatic (and greenhouse) effect of water, which cools or heats the Earth according to needs, is vitally important for stabilization of climatic conditions on our Planet.

Q: The Czech President Vaclav Klaus, one of the world's most vocal skeptics on the topic of global warming, says there are increasing doubts in the scientific community about weather humans are causing changes in the climate of weather the changes are simply naturally occurring phenomena. In 2007 Klaus published a book on the worldwide campaign to stop climate change entitled "Blue Planet in Green Chains: What is under Threat - Climate or Freedom, please comment?
Michal Kravcik: Frankly, I have not read the Czech Presidents´s book. But personally I have no doubts that - apart from many other factors - part of climatic change has been caused by human activities. By shifting the majority voice on climatic changes to the marginal issue, only roots for the skeptics to argue that the climatic change in fact does not exist , or if it does, then it is beyond the human reach to influence it, because it is part of the Earth´s natural processes.

I consider this a very dangerous trend for the Planet Earth´s sustainable development.

Q: Water, water seems to be pouring from your writings. What water experts say, is that despite the world`s "wetter" status, the future of fresh water is in jeopardy. Are voices loud enough ?
Michal Kravcik: I often argue that it is not important how much water people use, but it is vital what they will do with it after they use it. The current civilization considers rainwater and used water as a waste - and this is a real tragedy! It is not enough to invent more and more sophisticated solutions how to use the last remaining bits of water more effectively. Now it is high time to launch the global restoration of small hydrological cycles at the continents. Only then it is possible to turn the dried-out yellowed regions into a green fertile land. At the moment, I with my partners work on the "Green Desert Project" in which we want to offer technologies that could restore water cycles also in the dried-up regions of the world.

Q: Conflicts over where the build dams, how to divert water to agriculture, who gets more water and why, have long been simmering issues that will only increase as worldwide population increases and water supplies diminish. These are tough questions. Are they also "moral questions"?
Michal Kravcik: The cause of lack of water on the Planet Earth is not the population growth, as often argued, but the fact that the management of water is based on metaphysical principle, i.e. we cannot interfere with it. As result, the legislation protects only water that we can see. We have a mental problem to understand that water which evaporated from the landscape is not a loss, but consequently returns back in nature in the form of rain. What follows is - that the water reservoir is a whole water cycle, which - if holed by e.g. city sewage system collecting and draining rainwater into the sea - starts to empty until it dries-up completely.

There are plenty of examples all over the world in form of extinct civilizations and cultures. Our current civilization works hard, too, to empty this water reservoir until dried-up, and the life with it.

Q: Areas with abundant water supplies are busily drafting contracts that guarantee them rights or profitable gains over their water. One would say the same story of human "greed". What other alternatives are there?
Michal Kravcik: Many mega-projects have been launched which will probably fuel the business spirals with the last remains of fresh water. Strangely enough, also in the dried-up regions it is possible to restore water resources - even to their original condition - like there were several thousands years ago, when that country was thriving with green, streams and rivers with clean transparent water. The alternative is to restore water in small hydrological cycles.

At the beginning of 90-ties, we have elaborated the "Blue Alternative" aimed at creation of water resources. In those days, the "Blue Alternative" was the alternative to a dam, financially several times cheaper . Gradually, we gained knowledge that this alternative addressed not only water resources, but also it restored the production potential of soils, biodiversity and recovered the climate.

Q: It is widely assumed that urbanization will continue. But this is not necessarily so. The growing scarcity of water and the high cost of the energy investing in transporting water over long distances may itself being to constrain urban growth. Are eco-cities and building cities in balance with nature the answer?
Michal Kravcik: It is historical fact, that cities grew both in population and in the territory. At the beginning, there was a community that usually settled next to a water source or spring. As the community grew, it was changing its environment including conditions of permanent supplement of water resource by rainfall, and so the resource dried-out. People started digging wells, gradually exploiting the underground waters. The community then transported water through pipelines from the close areas, later also from the more distant places, and so the water resources gradually dried-out and dried-out completely. As a result, the climatic conditions also changed (less rainfalls), until the community endangered its own existence , leading to sole jeopardy of the community itself. They consequently moved to another place, where there was water, and did the same mistakes again.

Today, we have attacked the last water supplies, and those who still have them can look forward to a big business in the 21st century. This, however, is not sustainable, as those resources are depletable, and ways of using water do not secure restoration.

Certain hope arises in the urban development concepts based on the eco-city principles, however, in present days it is still only in position of a fashionable hit - i.e. use of renewable energy sources, waste recycling, public transportation.

Water management, however, remains in position of an old paradigm : to drain away rainwater as quickly as possible, and to bring new clean spring water to cities from the nature. The principle of eco-cities will be functioning on ecological principles only provided that not even a drop of rainwater from the city area would be drained directly into the nearest stream.

Q: Early cities relied on food and water from the surrounding countryside, but today cities often depend on distant sources even for basic amenities. The evolution of modern cities is tied to advances in transport, initially for ships and trains combined with cheap oil that provided the mobility of people and freight that fueled the phenomenal urban growth of the twentieth century. In terms of water fresh water availability, how will the cities of future look like?
Michal Kravcik: In my native city of Kosice, we started first with working on a concept that not even a drop of rainwater flows away, and so that the owner of a house or land accepted the water use principles at priority, and uses energy of the site and recycles not only the waste, but also water. However, the politicians did not culturally accept the concept, as it would endanger their profits. In essence, this model elaborates a system that would recycles everything in the environment in which humans live. And we have to begin with water. The precipitation in a city amounting to e.g. 100 million m3 water annually represents an enormous potential, one can do wonders with it.

The existing concept of urban development is based on draining away of rainwater, and on bringing new water to the city from rural areas through pipelines. This is a double mistake and very short-sighted.

Q: Is Water becoming 'the new oil'? Population, pollution, and climate put the squeeze on potable supplies - and private companies smell a profit. Others ask, should "water" be a human right, what is your view?
Michal Kravcik: A human right cannot exist, where water is treated in a irresponsible way. I suppose it is irrelevant/incongruous to speak about e.g. rights for water if there is no responsibility for water. And where water is treated in a irresponsible way, there is lack of water, and „good business" with water is thriving. It is „in" to speak and lead campaigns against privatization of water resources. It is essential to realize that if there is more water in environment we live in, there will be no pressure on privatization of water resources.

Therefore we should return rainwater and wastewater after use back into the water cycle ; this is the way how we can address not only lack of water, but also strengthen human rights.

ABOUT MICHAL KRAVCIK
Ing Michal Kravcik, CSc, completed his studies in Waterworks Construction and Water Management at the Slovak Technical University and worked for the Institute of Hydrology and Hydraulics and the Institute of Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Ing. Michal is founder of the People and Water NGO in Kosice, Slovakia. He is the most prominent representative of the People and Water NGO, which has been awarded the EU-USA Prize for Deomocracy and Civil Society Development.

Michal Kravcik was awarder the Goldman Environmental Prize and is a member of ASHOKA - Innovators for the Public, an international network of innovators who contribute for common good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

mini cooper


























Cliff-dwellings-meteora-monasteries

It would be impossible to gather a collection of precarious dwellings without a mention of the Meteora monasteries in Greece. Meteora translates literally to “hovering in the air.” They were built hundreds of years ago by monks who initially lived in caves in the area. During the times of Turkish invasions and occupation, the monks climbed higher and higher, finally building their monasteries atop the tall rocks. Although they were once accessible only by climbing the rock faces, the monasteries can now be reached by roads and steps.

Climate Deal Finally Reached at Copenhagen


At last some sort of agreement has been reached at the climate meet being held at Copenhagen.
Things looked bleak, there was a dead end in sight. The blame game was on and no one thought there was the slightest chance of any sort of agreement even, leave alone a deal. Time was running out. But the good news is that the United States has reached a climate deal with the BASIC countries. Yes it's true. President Barack Obama announced that the US has reached an agreement with India, China, South Africa and Brazil.

Obama went on to say, "We agreed to set a mitigation target to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. It's a nonbinding goal, and the emissions targets "will not be by themselves sufficient to get to where we need to get by 2050. It is a first step, and that for many countries "this is going to be the first time in which even voluntarily they offered up mitigation targets. I think that it was important to essentially get that shift in orientation moving. For the first time in history, all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change." The president also added that he believes it is necessary that the countries work towards a legally binding treaty, but also said, "If we just waited for that, we would not make any progress."

This is not an entirely satisfactory deal that has been reached, but at least it is a start. And though it is not legally binding, a platform has been laid for world leaders to work ahead on. A lot more needs to be agreed upon and done ahead, if we are to save our planet, the only one we have that too!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chiang Mai, Thailand













Chiang Mai, Thailand
STATS
5 bedrooms
5 baths, 3 half baths
6,350 sq. ft.
$15 million
Pedigree: Bangkok-based architect and designer Bill Bensley created this 2008 compound, which comprises seven pavilions erected around a courtyard pool. Crowned with steeply pitched roofs, the buildings incorporate local vernacular styles and feature woodwork of reclaimed golden teak. The furnishings (among them Asian artifacts and custom-made case goods) come with the residence.

Property Values: Three gazebos, lush gardens, and a pond bridged by walkways distinguish the four-acre plot, set in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Talking Point: Uncovered paths between rooms require indoor/outdoor living—even during the rainy season.

Bentley Brooklands

Bentley Brooklands

Bentley Brooklands

The Bentley Brooklands is a stunning new model that marks the company's return to the luxury coupé market and reaffirms its reputation as creator of the world's most exclusive coupés. It is the ultimate Bentley: a stylish, four-seat, grand touring coupe with classic British proportions and muscular performance.

Bentley's chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen describes the motivation behind the new coupé: "Bentley's proud sporting pedigree, forged by the exploits of the immortal 'Bentley Boys' on the famous Brooklands racetrack in the 1920s, was the inspiration for our new coupé, capturing all the style, power and splendour of that era."

Sporting design cues are matched by the phenomenal performance engineering of Bentley's legendary Crewe-built V8 engine. The new Bentley Brooklands possesses the most powerful V8 the company has ever produced - a 530bhp, twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre unit that also produces a prodigious 1050Nm of torque.

Each Bentley Brooklands coupé will be hand-assembled, employing traditional coach-building techniques and the craftsmanship skills in wood veneer and leather hide for which Bentley is renowned. To ensure exclusivity, lifetime production will be strictly limited to just 550 cars, with deliveries expected to start in the first half of 2008.

Exterior Design: Classic British Proportions

Bentley's rich coupé heritage provided the stimulus for Director of Styling, Dirk van Braeckel and his design team. For van Braeckel, the task was very clear: "To create a powerful, muscular and rakish grand touring coupé with classic British proportions, in the finest Bentley tradition."
Bentley Brooklands (2008)
2008 Bentley Brooklands

While the new Bentley Brooklands is influenced by Bentley's fine coupé lineage, its design and engineering are thoroughly contemporary. The proportions of long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang achieve the design objective perfectly, while the low roofline, steeply raked screens and pillarless side glass convey both power and movement.

As the Bentley Brooklands will be built in very limited volume, the designers were able to introduce unique features that necessitate specialist coach-building techniques, as Programme Director, Ashley Wickham, reveals: "The Brooklands' beautiful flowing lines are testament to the traditional coach-building skills and craftsmanship of Crewe's highly talented workforce."

The 'floating' rear screen, for example, is a contemporary take on traditional coachbuilt Bentleys. The lower edge of the screen sits well above the upper edge of the boot lid to provide a flowing, flawless line to the back of the car. This can only be achieved by individually hand-welding the rear wings to the C-pillars.

The fitment of 20-inch diameter wheels as standard, signalling the surefooted, robust and dynamic character of the new model, reaffirms the powerful stance of the new Bentley coupé.

Interior Design: Peerless Craftsmanship with a Sporting Character

Dirk van Braeckel describes the mission for the Bentley interior design team: "To create the perfect Bentley coupé: sumptuous hand-crafted luxury with a distinctly sporting character."

As in every Bentley, peerless craftsmanship is to the fore, enhanced by the warmth and richness of the finest natural materials. To tailor for their individual requirements, customers may choose from an extensive palette of hides, veneers, carpet tones and seat belt colours.

Its four-seat architecture and deeply bolstered seats lend the Brooklands' interior a distinctly sporting atmosphere, complemented by design accents such as aluminium foot pedals and footrest. A new, single-piece, hide-trimmed roof lining flows uninterrupted from the front windscreen all the way to the rear of the car, mirroring the long, sleek profile of the elegant exterior.

The interior designers sought to offer the very highest levels of comfort and legroom, in true Bentley grand touring tradition, while the pillarless window design enhances the feeling of space.

The Bentley Brooklands' cabin is wider both front and rear than the previous Bentley Continental R coupé - the rear by 10 percent - and it easily exceeds the interior leg, knee and headroom of any luxury coupe on sale today. This allows four adults to be accommodated in supreme comfort. Individual rear seats with electrically operated sliding cushions, set further back than on the Azure, are separated by a new centre console, incorporating both storage and cup holders.

Most powerful Crewe-built V8 ever - 530bhp, 1050Nm

Beneath its muscular, rakish, coach-built body lies the most powerful Crewe-builtV8 engine ever produced, developing 530bhp. Maximum torque is an astonishing 1050Nm, the highest ever developed by a production V8 engine. Although performance figures are subject to final confirmation as part of the on-going development programme, the new Bentley coupé will deliver supercar levels of in-gear acceleration combined with Arnage refinement.

At the beginning of the project, Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering, tasked his power train specialists to deliver an extraordinary driving experience in the Bentley coupé tradition: "Exhilarating, effortless, accessible performance for those truly passionate about their driving was our prime objective."

Launched in the Bentley S2 saloon in 1959 with a capacity of 6.23 litres, the legendary, Crewe-built V8 engine has continually evolved. The first V8 was very advanced for its time with an all-aluminium construction, a five-bearing crankshaft and a well-supported camshaft, producing nearly 200bhp and 400Nm of torque. The result was a light and supple powertrain that produced maximum torque at low engine speeds, the hallmark of every Bentley ever produced.

1969 saw the capacity grow to 6.75 litres, where it remains to this day, but by far the most significant change came in 1982, with the introduction of a turbocharger to create the near-300bhp Mulsanne Turbo, a car that transformed the image of Bentley. In 1999, the single turbo engine, by now featuring port injection and charge cooling, was installed in Arnage, with twin turbos arriving in 2002, developing up to 450bhp.

For the 2007 model Arnage, the V8 engine saw a step-change in performance and refinement which became the starting point for the new Bentley Brooklands. A re-profiled camshaft and new, low-inertia turbochargers, which operate with greater efficiency at lower engine speeds have resulted in reduced turbo lag, enhancing that prodigious wave of torque at any revs, the hallmark of a true Bentley. These changes extend the power potential of the V8 in the Arnage to 500bhp and 1000Nm of torque. For the Bentley Brooklands, further component optimisation and engine calibration ensure record power and torque levels from this hand-assembled engine.

As with the latest Arnage, the V8 engine is mated to a six-speed transmission with strengthened casing that transforms the way in which both parts of the drive train communicate. A sophisticated, locking torque converter and ESP system ensure that the driver can readily access the prodigious power. A semi-automatic function allows manual gear selection for even greater driver control.

Warmest Decade Ever


The last decade was the warmest ever on record.
Temperatures on our planet Earth have been recorded since the year 1880. And believe it or not, since that time, the hottest decade ever was the last one we have lived in. Yes! The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest ever. This is according to data provided by scientists at NASA.

In fact, 2005 was the warmest year ever recorded, with 2009 coming in a close 2nd. So that means in a span of 5 years, we have experienced the 2 warmest years ever on record. Since 1880, world's average temperature has increased 0.8 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. And even more alarming is that at present, average world temperatures are increasing at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius or 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit per 10 years. The reasons being many, from industrial pollution, to vehicle emissions, and release of methane gas in different ways. The effects of global warming on Earth is a cause for great concern, and leaders of all nations are trying to get together and reach a consensus on steps that can be taken to save our planet, before it is too late.

James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) said, "There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated."

These are clear warning signs that the human race needs to get its act together to save the only planet that we have at our disposal, before it is just too late to do anything.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cliff-houses-holman-house-australia

When the owners of this piece of cliffside real estate wanted to build a home here, the architects nearly wouldn’t take it on. The stunning finished product features panoramic views of the sea enhanced by the unique geometric architecture. Located in Australia, the view from this living space is not for the faint of heart. The owners have remarked that during a storm, it seems that the waves will simply wash the structure away.

Haniyeh meets Qatari emir


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government said.

Taher al-Nunu said the leaders discussed the role of Qatar and the Arab League in addressing Israel's illegal siege of Gaza and protecting Jerusalem.

The Qatari prince and the Hamas leader also talked about Palestinian national reconciliation and the implications of the Arab Spring, al-Nunu said.

Al-Thani praised the resilience of the people of Gaza and said the Arab Spring could have a positive influence on the Palestinian struggle, the spokesman added.

Qatar ended formal relations with Israel after it launched a devastating attack on Gaza in December 2008.

The emirate has supported the Arab Spring, providing arms and troops to Libyan rebels as they battled Moammar Gadhafi.

The Qatari prime minster was the first Arab leader to suggest sending Arab troops to Syria to end President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

Hamas' headquarters are in Damascus, but tensions have grown over 10 months of bloodshed there.

Haniyeh's next stop is Iran, a staunch ally of the Syrian regime.

Ferrari Enzo

Ferrari Enzo

Ferrari Enzo

Ferrari regularly produces a model that represents a synthesis of its technological knowledge and its sporting experience. The Ferrari 250 LM was the first of this type of models in 1963. It was conceived by the founder especially for the owner-driver and was deliberately designed for racing. The Ferrari GTO (1984), the Ferrari F40 (1987) and for Ferrari's fiftieth anniversary the Ferrari F50 (1995) have been the significant milestones in this journey. Each of these limited edition cars had a specific technological message that enriched the performance of the model. In 2002 Luca di Montezemolo presented the Ferrari Enzo which married four consecutive years of supremacy in the Constructor's World Championship to the technical input and fine adjustment sensitivity of the World Champion Michael Schumacher.

"The Ferrari Enzo is a historic car for Ferrari for many and various reasons. Therefore we had to chose a name with a strong symbolic significance and that was the name of the Company founder," said Montezemolo. "With an F1 gearbox, a 5998 cc V12 engine, carbon and composite materials, the Ferrari Enzo, of which 399 will be built, is the perfect synthesis of four consecutive Formula 1 Championships in the last four years. This is because it is the race track itself which has been the source of the highest level of technology characterising a unique car which is absolutely innovative and represents the quintessence of Ferrari past and present and looks to the Ferrari of the future."
Ferrari Enzo (2002)
2002 Ferrari Enzo

Calling upon this wealth of knowledge, the aim was to develop a car as an integrated system aimed at achieving extreme performance. A system where even driver performance limits could be improved through a Formula 1 man/machine interface. The new Ferrari Enzo required a special and in-depth technical collaboration with Brembo, Bridgestone, Magneti Marelli and OMR.

Brembo has been constantly developing its braking systems for Ferrari for many years. Brembo production and design capacities are demonstrated by the Brembo CCM discs made of composite ceramic material used on the new Ferrari Enzo. They are exceptionally light (providing a 30% saving in weight over similar cast iron units), they provide excellent braking efficiency in all conditions and practically never wear.

The Bridgestone Corporation is a valued Ferrari supplier, providing sporting and technical know-how for its F1 tyres. For the new Ferrari Enzo, Bridgestone has specifically developed the Potenza RE050 Scuderia. A high performance tyre able to reach speeds of over 350 km/h (218 mph), whilst maintaining road-holding limits and previously unknown driving precision.

Magneti Marelli is the leader in the production of automated manual transmission systems. A successful Formula 1 collaboration has been augmented with a partnership, established in the mid nineties to develop the electro-hydraulic gear change on the Ferrari F355 Berlinetta F1. The F1 gear change concept today extends to all new Ferrari and Maserati cars. The development of the F1 gear change for the Ferrari Enzo represented a most fascinating challenge, due to its closeness to the perennial challenge faced by the F1 single seater.

OMR (Officine Meccaniche Rezzatesi), has developed an exclusive pedal platform for the Ferrari Enzo. It features aluminium accelerator and brake pedals and has been designed to be adjustable in sixteen different positions to achieve the best driving performance and ergonomics.

KAREENA KAPOOR OPPOSITE AKSHAY KUMAR IN SEQUEL OF MOVIE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI


Kareena Kapoor Opposite Akshay Kumar In Sequel Of Movie Upon A Time In Mumbaai

Post the success of the film Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Balaji was gung ho on making a sequel to the film. The scale of the film got even bigger when they roped in Akshay Kumar to play the lead role of the Mumbai don in the film.

Though much of the initial production was locked, not much was spoken about the leading actress of the film. With names being thrown in by the media, it was confusion galore.

Well now, the dust has settled and Kareena Kapoor has been signed for the film. The Kapoor damsel is all set to play the lead opposite Akshay Kumar in Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai 2.

Kareena has allotted dates for Milan Luthria's OUATIM sequel starting January 20 which will spill over to February and March too.

NASA: Global Warming Continues Unabated


The decade 2000-2009 is the warmest on record, says NASA.
According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) , the decade January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest on record. 2005 was the warmest year, while 2009 came in second in a tie with four more years (2002, 2003, 2006 & 2007) in the same decade. However, in 2009 the Southern Hemisphere was the warmest, since 1880, when temperatures were recorded for the first time.

GISS director James Hansen said, "There's always interest in the annual numbers and a given year's ranking, but the ranking often misses the point. There's substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El-Niño-La Niña cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize the variability, we find that global warming is continuing unabated."

Though 2008 was the coolest year in the decade due to the La Niña event over the Pacific Ocean, warm temperatures made a comeback in 2009. "Of course, the contiguous 48 states cover only 1.5 per cent of the world area, so the US temperature does not affect the global temperature much," Hansen said. Though the winter may have been colder in the United States, China and Europe, the Southern Hemisphere and the Arctic remained notably warm.

Climatologists have recently emphasized on the importance of understanding the difference between weather, i.e. day-to-day local events, and climate, i.e. long term global trends. According to NASA, the average global temperatures have been seeing a rise by 0.2 °C or 0.36 °F in the past three decades. In entirety, an increase by about 0.8 °C or 1.5 °F was seen in the average global temperatures since 1880.

The analysis was based on data sourced from meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations and Antarctica research station, NASA said.

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