Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some amazing natural events you probably haven’t ever seen...

1.Denmark Black Sun

During spring in Denmark, at approximately one half an hour before sunset, flocks of more than a million European starlings (sturnus vulgaris) gather from all corners to join in the incredible formations shown above. This phenomenon is called Black Sun (in Denmark), and can be witnessed in early spring throughout the marshlands of western Denmark, from March through to the middle of April. The starlings migrate from the south and spend the day in the meadows gathering food, sleeping in the reeds during the night. There are sometimes enough birds in the sky that they end up blocking out the sun, hence the term”Black Sun Phenomenon”� 

2.Venezuela Permanent Storm  
The mysterious “Relampago del Catatumbo”� (Catatumbo lightning) is a unique natural phenomenon in the world. Located on the mouth of the Catatumbo river at Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), the phenomenon is a cloud-to-cloud lightning that forms a voltage arc more than five kilometer high during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours a night, and as many as 280 times an hour. This almost permanent storm occurs over the marshlands where the Catatumbo River feeds into Lake Maracaibo and it is considered the greatest single generator of ozone in the planet, judging from the intensity of the cloud-to-cloud discharge and great frequency. 


The area sees an estimated 1,176,000 electrical discharges per year, with an intensity of up to 400,000 amperes, and visible up to 400 km away. This is the reason why the storm is also known as the Maracaibo Beacon as light has been used for navigation by ships for ages.The collision with the winds coming from the Andes Mountains causes the storms and associated lightning, a result of electrical discharges through ionized gases, specifically the methane created by the decomposition of organic matter in the marshes. Being lighter than air, the gas rises up to the clouds, feeding the storms. Some local environmentalists hope to put the area under the protection of UNESCO, as it is an exceptional phenomenon, the greatest source of its type for regenerating the planet’s ozone layer. 

3.Morocco Climbing Goats  
Goats on trees are found mostly only in Morocco. The goats climb them because they like to eat the fruit of the argan tree, which is similar to an olive. Farmers actually follow the herds of goats as they move from tree to tree. Not because it is so strange to see goats in trees and the farmers like to point and stare, but because the fruit of the tree has a nut inside, which the goats can’t digest, so they spit it up or excrete it which the farmers collect. The nut contains 1-3 kernels, which can be ground to make argan oil used in cooking and cosmetics. This oil has been collected by the people of the region for hundreds of years, but like many wild and useful things these days, the argan tree is slowly disappearing due to over-harvesting for the trees wood and overgrazing by goats.As a result a group of people and organizations have banded together to try to save the tree. To do so one of the primary locations where the trees grow has been declared a biosphere preserve. It was also decided that by making the world aware of the oil, it’s great taste and supposed anti-aging properties, would create a demand for it.


However, the people who planned to market the oil could not envision people wanting to put an oil on their food or their face that was collected from goat excrement. As a result, a campaign is being led to ban grazing on the trees by goats during certain parts of the year to allow the fruit to ripen and fall off on its own. The fruit is then collected and turned into oil by oil cooperatives. So far, this arrangement seems to be working. 

4.Honduras Rain of Fishes
The Rain of Fish is common in Honduran Folklore. It occurs in the Departamento de Yoro, between the months of May and July. Witnesses of this phenomenon state that it begins with a dark cloud in the sky followed by lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy rain for 2 to 3 hours. 

Once the rain has stopped, hundreds of living fish are found on the ground. People take the fish home to cook and eat them. Since 1998 a festival known as “Festival de la Lluvia de Peces”� (Rain of Fish Festival) is celebrated every year in the city of Yoro, Departamento de Yoro, Honduras. 

5. Kerala Red Rain
From 25 July to 23 September 2001, red rain sporadically fell on the southern Indian state of Kerala. Heavy downpours occurred in which the rain was colored red, staining clothes with an appearance similar to that of blood. Yellow, green, and black rain was also reported.It was initially suspected that the rains were colored by fallout from a hypothetical meteor burst, but a study commissioned by the Government of India found that the rains had been colored by airborne spores from a locally prolific terrestrial alga. 


Then in early 2006, the coloured rains of Kerala suddenly rose to worldwide attention after media reports of a conjecture that the coloured particles were extraterrestrial cells, proposed by Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar of the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam. The terrestrial origins of the solid material in the red rain were supported by an investigation into the isotopic ratios of nitrogen and carbon. 

6.Brazilian longest wave on the Earth

Twice a year, between the months of February and March, the Atlantic Ocean waters roll up the Amazon river, in , generating the longest wave on the Earth. The phenomenon, known as the Pororoca, is caused by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean wich meet the mouth of the river. This tidal bore generates waves up to 12 feet high which can last for over half an hour.The name “Pororoca”� comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it translates into great destructive noises�. The wave can be heard about 30 minutes before its arrival, and it’s so powerful that it can destroy anything, including trees, local houses and all kind of animals.The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in  Domingos do Capim. However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the margins of the river (often, entire trees). The record that we could find for surfing the longest distance on the Pororoca was set by Picuruta Salazar, a Brazilian surfer who, in 2003, managed to ride the wave for 37 minutes and travel 12.5 kilometers. A surfers dream: riding an almost never-ending wave. 

7.Idaho Fire Rainbow
The atmospheric phenomenon known as a circumhorizon(tal) arc, or “Fire rainbow”, appears when the sun is high in the sky, and its light passes through diaphanous, high-altitude cirrus clouds made up of hexagonal plate crystals. 

Sunlight entering the crystals vertical side faces and leaving through their bottom faces is refracted (as through a prism) and separated into an array of visible colors. When the plate crystals in cirrus clouds are aligned optimally (i.e., with their faces parallel to the ground), the resulting display is a brilliant spectrum of colors reminiscent of a rainbow. The example shown above was captured on camera as it hung for about an hour across a several-hundred square mile area of sky above northern Idaho (near the Washington border) on 3 June 2006.

Things to Think About When Buying a New Laptop!

Things to Think About When buying a New Laptop
Considering it is the Holiday's and everyone will be doing allot of Holiday Shopping! Here are some tips on buying a new Laptop so you can get the best type for YOU & your personal needs.

Instead of a traditional desktop computer, many people are opting to purchase a laptop for use at home and on the go. With so many features to choose from, it's important to know what you need before you buy.

Important laptop features:
If you haven't gone shopping for a new computer in a while, the laptop ads may strike you as a tad confusing with phrases such as "2GB RAM, 8GB SSD, Level II cache," etc. Fortunately, a little information is all you need to make sense of today's laptop jargon. Here are the basic features you're going to want to pay attention to:

Processor: There are many different processors on the market which can make it difficult to find the one that’s right for you. You want to look for amazing performance like that found in the Intel® Core™ processor family. If you already have a laptop or desktop and are looking for an ultra small laptop called a netbook, you’ll want to look into a system with the Intel® Atom™ processor inside.

Screen size: There are many different shapes and sizes in today’s laptops. You can choose a tablet-size computer with a screen that’s as small as five inches wide or a desktop replacement laptop with a giant 20-inch screen that’s perfect for playing DVDs, editing photos and videos, or even gaming. The key to making a decision is determining what exactly you expect to do with this new laptop once you get it home.

Battery life: Just a few years ago, if your laptop battery lasted two hours, you were doing well. These days with amazing advances in processor technology, operating systems, and battery technology, some laptops can run as long as eight hours or more before needing to recharge. Be sure to look at a system that will last as long as you need before recharging.

RAM:Think of RAM (random access memory) as a way to measure your laptop's intelligence. You may be able to squeak by with 512 MB of RAM if you’re going to be primarily doing email and surfing the Web, but most computer users will want at least 1 GB or more to run several applications at once. If you can’t afford as much RAM as you would like, you can usually upgrade your RAM down the road.

CD/DVD drive: A good laptop can act as an entertainment center as well as a business tool. Some disc drives will simply read CD-ROMs while others allow you to record CDs and DVDs, too. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate in portability, like you get in a netbook, a CD and DVD option is not generally an option.

Storage space:The more storage space you have on your laptop, the better. Though 160 GB means you can load nearly 40,000 songs on your laptop, an internal drive can fill up quickly in just a year or two. Storage space comes in two varieties today—hard drives and solid-state drives (SSD). Though hard drives currently dominate the computer world, solid-state drives are gaining popularity. With no moving parts, an SSD generates little heat, wastes less energy, and can take more punishment than a traditional hard drive. Unfortunately, SSDs tend to cost a bit more, but prices are gradually coming down.
One nice thing about hard drives is that you can always buy an external hard drive later down the road to increase your storage capacity as you need to. External hard drives are also nice to back up your information in case your internal hard drive goes bad.

Ethernet port:Most if not all current laptop models contain an Ethernet port, which allows you to connect your computer to a DSL modem and networks that you typically find in a business environment.

WiFi: If your new laptop is WiFi enabled, that means it can use wireless hot spots at coffee shops, libraries, and other public areas, using them to access the Web. More and more businesses and public areas allow you to connect to hotspots free of charge, so you can stay connected almost anywhere these days. Additionally, if you choose to purchase your next laptop with wireless capability, you could choose to set up your own home network so you can be online throughout your house.

Pre-loaded software and license agreements:
It's easy to find a laptop or netbook at a bargain price, but those cost savings could be eaten up by software license agreements. Many inexpensive computers come with trial versions of popular software packages, but the trial typically lasts 60 days or less. To continue using the product after the trial period ends, you need to buy the software.
When shopping around for a new laptop, make sure to ask the clerk what software packages come with the computer and which merely are trial versions.
Looking to upgrade your computer from old and slow to mega-performer? Look for laptops with Intel Inside® for great computing experiences at home and on the go.
Start shopping    


Hi-Res camera catches couple in the act!

I’m Under Arrest for What? Fifty Bizarre U.S. Laws...

I’ve never claimed to have extensive knowledge of U.S. legislation throughout history, but it’s safe to say that I and most people I associate with are law-abiding citizens … or not. As it turns out, every state in this country has at least one wacky legal stipulation that could land residents in hot water if they don’t comply. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.

Whispering in someone’s ear while he’s moose hunting is prohibited.

Cutting down a cactus may earn you a twenty-five-year prison term.

It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.

You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.

It’s unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).

A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.

It’s illegal to get married on a dare.

Washington, D.C.
It’s against the law to post a public notice calling someone a coward for refusing to accept a challenge to duel.

If you tie an elephant to a parking meter, you must pay the same parking fee as you would for a vehicle.
It’s illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless you draw the shades first.

All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.
A man must not give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing fewer than fifty pounds.

It’s illegal to take a French poodle to the opera (Chicago).

The value of pi is 4, and not 3.1415.

One-armed piano players must perform for free.

It’s illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits (Natoma).

Every citizen is required to take a shower once a year.

Biting someone with your natural teeth constitutes simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth classifies as aggravated assault.
If you keep your Christmas decorations on display after January 14, you’ll be fined.

It’s against the law to wash or scrub a sink, no matter how dirty it is (Baltimore).

No gorilla is allowed in the backseat of any car.

A woman may not cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.

It’s illegal to paint a sparrow with the intent of selling it as a parakeet (Harper Woods).

Walking a dog without dressing it in diapers is forbidden (Temperance).

Children may buy shotguns in Kansas City, but not toy cap guns.

It’s a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

Bar owners may not sell beer unless they brew a kettle of soup simultaneously.

It’s illegal for men with mustaches to kiss women.

New Hampshire
It’s forbidden to sell the clothes you’re wearing to pay off a gambling debt.

New Jersey
It’s against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

New Mexico
Females may not appear unshaven in public.

New York
While riding in an elevator, you must talk to no one, fold your hands, and look toward the door.

North Carolina
It’s against the law to sing off-key.

North Dakota
It’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

You must honk the horn whenever you pass another car, according to the state’s driver’s education manual.

It’s forbidden to take a bite out of another person’s hamburger.

State law requires dishes to be drip-dried.

It’s illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.

Rhode Island
You may not bite off another person’s leg. South Carolina
If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, he is required by law to keep his promise.

South Dakota
It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.

Selling hollow logs is strictly forbidden.

You may not shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.

It is illegal not to drink milk.

Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

Tickling a woman is unlawful.

It’s illegal to pretend that one’s parents are wealthy.

West Virginia
If you make fun of someone who does not accept a challenge, you risk a six-month prison sentence.

Unless a customer specifically requests it, margarine may not be substituted for butter in a restaurant.

Unless you have an official permit, you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April.

This Court Is Adjourned
Whew! With all this legislation, it’s a wonder we’re not all sharing a prison cell right now. Granted, something tells me the Los Angeles Police Department has bigger fish to fry than popping people who dare to eat oranges while bathing, and that most people who saw me catching some shut-eye on top of a fridge in Pennsylvania wouldn’t call the cops on me, but you never know when you might come across that rare whistle-blower who wants you persecuted to the fullest extent of the law, so it’s probably better to be safe than sorry. The next time I tie up my elephant at a parking meter in Florida, I’ll be sure to bring a pocket full of quarters.

GE ecomagination photo project.It's easy, just take a photo of Wind, Water or Light and donate it. Every photo goes to help a worthy cause.

GE ecomagination photo project

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