Archive for the ‘World’ Tag

Cats and Dogs around the World   Leave a comment


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According to Statistics Canada there are 3.5 million dogs in Canada and 4.5 million cats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

Posted November 20, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Moscow, megacity with tens of thousands of apartment buildings   1 comment


 

Since 1924, five-year plans provided national economic and urban development that was aimed at providing equal services for all. Muscovites primarily live in flats in multistorey buildings. Moscow’s population has tripled during the last 70 years and, in spite of massive municipal housing construction, there are still some people who live in shared flats, or in outdated or dilapidated buildings.

 

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The Soviet policy of providing housing for every citizen and his or her family, and the rapid growth of the Muscovite population in these times, also led to the construction of large, monotonous housing blocks, which can often be differentiated by age, sturdiness of construction, or ‘style’ according to the neighborhood and the materials used. Most of these date from the post-Stalin era and the styles are often named after the leader then in power (Brezhnev, Khrushchev, etc.). They are usually badly maintained.

Although the city still has some five-story apartment buildings constructed before the mid-1960s, more recent apartment buildings are usually at least 9 floors tall, and have elevators. It is estimated that Moscow has over twice as many elevators as New York City and four times as many as Chicago. Moslift, one of the city’s major elevator operating companies, has about 1500 elevator mechanics on call, to release residents trapped in elevators.

 

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Moscow as seen from the International Space Station

 

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Moscow  is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific center in Russia and in Europe. According to Forbes 2011, Moscow has the largest community of billionaires in the world.  Moscow is the northernmost megacity on Earth, the second (after Istanbul) most populous city in Europe, and the 6th largest city proper in the world. It’s also the largest city in Russia with a population, according to the 2010 Census, of 11,503,501.  By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the capital increased its area 2.5 times; from about 1,000 square kilometers (390 sq mi) up to 2,500 square kilometers (970 sq mi), and gained additional population of 230,000 people.

 

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Posted November 5, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Now this is one big giant hole in the ground!   Leave a comment


 

The Cave of Swallows, also called Cave of the Swallows (Spanish: Sótano de las Golondrinas), is an open air pit cave in the Municipality of Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The elliptical mouth, on a slope of karst, is 49 by 62 meters wide and is undercut around all its perimeter, further widening to a room approximately 303 by 135 meters wide.  The floor of the cave is a 333-meter freefall drop from the lowest side of the opening, with a 370-meter drop from the highest side,  making it the largest known cave shaft in the world, the second deepest pit in Mexico and perhaps the 11th deepest in the world.  A skyscraper such as New York City’s Chrysler Building could easily fit wholly within it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Opened up by water erosion in a fault on an impermeable limestone plain and with a roughly conical shape, the cave has been known to the local Huastec people since ancient times. The first documented exploration was on 27 December 1966 by T. R. Evans, Charles Borland and Randy Sterns.

Temperatures in the cave are low. Vegetation grows thickly at the mouth, where rains can cause waterfalls cascading into the cave.  The cave floor is covered with a thick layer of debris and guano on which “millipedes, insects, snakes, and scorpions” live.  There is also a narrow sinkhole in a fault of lower Cretaceous limestone which goes down at least a further 512 m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

These people rappell down to the floor of the cave where the scorpions and deadly snakes are waiting.  Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

And then there are the crazy thrill seekers who want to parachute down into the cave where the scorpions and deadly snakes are waiting.  Why?  Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The cave is a popular vertical caving destination. The high side of the mouth is covered with heavy foliage, so cavers most often fix their ropes on the low side, where bolts have been fixed into the rock and the area is clear of obstructions.  Rappelling to the floor takes about twenty minutes, in which time abseil equipment and rope can heat up to hazardous levels. Climbing back out may take from forty minutes to more than two hours. A person without a parachute would take almost ten seconds to freefall from the mouth to the floor, hence the pit is also popular with extreme sporting enthusiasts for BASE jumping.  An average-sized hot air balloon has been navigated through the 160-foot (49 m) wide opening and landed on the floor below.  Base jumpers can get out in about 10 minutes via an extraction rope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Posted September 15, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Bureaucrats from around the world   1 comment


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Bureaucratics by Dutch photographer Jan Banning is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of state civil administrations and its servants in eight countries on five continents. Jan traveled to Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, Yemen and the United States to snap photographs of civil servants – from fiscal authorities to police, from governors to local clerks – seated behind his or her desk. The result is a fascinating look at the lives of bureaucrats.

India, Bihar

Sushma Prasad (b. 1962) is an assistant clerk at the Cabinet Secretary of the State of Bihar (population 83 million) in The Old Secretariat in the state capital, Patna. She was hired “on compassionate grounds” because of the death of her husband, who until 1997 worked in the same department. Monthly salary: 5,000 rupees ($ 110, euro 100).

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Surinder Kumar Mandal (b. 1946) is circle inspector of taxes in Thakurganj block, collecting taxes in a specific part of Kishanganj district, State of Bihar. Monthly salary: 9,500 rupees ($ 208, 189 euro). Surinder Kumar Mandal (b. 1946) is “circle inspector” van belastingen in Thakurganj Block, Kishanganj district, State of Bihar. Maandsalaris: 9,500 rupees (euro 189, US$ 208).

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China, Shandong

 

Qu Shao Feng (b. 1964) is chief general of Jining Public Security Bureau Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration in Jining City, Shandong province. Monthly salary: 3,100 renminbi (US$ 384, 286 euro).

 

Wang Ning (b. 1983) works in the Economic Affairs office in Gu Lou community, Yanzhou city, Shandong province. She provides economic assistance to enterprises in her region and is the liaison officer between the government and local enterprises. Wang Ning is not married. She lives at home with her parents. Monthly salary: 2,100 renminbi (US$ 260, euro 228).

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France, Auvergne

 

Roger Vacher (b. 1957) is a narcotics agent with the national police force in Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dome department, Auvergne region. Monthly salary: euro 2,200 (US$ 2,893).

 

Maurice Winterstein (b. 1949) works in Clermont-Ferrand for the Commission for the Advancement of Equal Opportunity and Citizenship at the combined administrative offices of the Auvergne region and the Puy-de-Dome department. He also is in charge of the portfolio of religious affairs, Islam in particular. Monthly salary: euro 1,550 (US$ 2,038). The young lady next to him is Linda Khettabi (b. 1989), an intern pursuing training as a secretary.

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Liberia

 

Major Adolph Dalaney works in the Reconstruction Room of the Traffic Police at the Liberia National Police Headquarters in the capital Monrovia. Traffic accident victims at time are willing to pay a little extra if Dalaney’s department quickly draws up a favorable report to present to a judge. Monthly salary: barely 1,000 Liberian dollars ($18, €17).

 

Henry Gray (1940), acting commissioner for Gbaepo district, Kanweaken, River Gee County. During the Civil War, the office was completely looted and destroyed: only one wall remained. Gray has 11 personnel, of whom only 4 are paid. The rest are volunteers. He has no budget and over two years salary owing. Yesterday, he went to the capital Fishtown to collect last two months salary, two times 975 Liberian dollars (2x US$ 17, 2x euro 16). All he got was 600 dollars (US$ 11, euro 10). Gray is father to 34 children (sic), 13 of them depending, and has 18 grandchildren.

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Russia, Siberia

 

Marina Nikolayevna Berezina (b. 1962), a former singer and choir director, is now the secretary to the head of the financial department of Tomsk province”s Facility Services. She does not want to reveal her monthly salary.

 

Nikolajevich Ilyich Volkov (b. 1954) is administrator of the village of Alexandrovskoye (some 1,000 inhabitants), Tomsk province. Monthly salary: 9,000 rubles (US$ 321, euro 243).

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U.S.A., Texas

 

Rudy Flores (b. 1963) is one of the 118 Texas Rangers, state law enforcement officers who cover 254 counties between them. He is based in Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, and is responsible for three counties. Monthly salary: $5,000 (€3,720).

 

Dede McEachern (b. 1969) is director of licensing, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, in the state capital, Austin. Monthly salary: US$ 5,833 (euro 4,240).

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Yemen

 

Ali Abdulmalik Shuga (b. 1964) is responsible for the archives of the Ministry of Trade and CommerceÍs governorate s office in the city of Taizz, Taizz Governorate. Monthly salary: 30,500 rial (US$ 171, euro 117).

 

Nadja Ali Gayt is an adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture’s education center for rural women in the district of Manakhah, Sana’a Governorate. Monthly salary: 28,500 rial ($160, €110).

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Bolivia, Potosi

 

Constantino Ayaviri Castro (b. 1950), previously a construction worker, is a police officer, third class, for the municipality of Tinguipaya, Tomas Frias province. The police station does not have a phone, car or typewriter. Monthly salary: 800 bolivianos ($100, €189).

 

Marcial Castro Revollo (b. 1942) is shopkeeper and, at the desk in the back, civil servant for the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the village of Millares (350 inhabitants), municipality of Betanzos, Cornelio Saavedra province, Department Potosi. Also, at the desk in the front, he is responsible for the polling station of the Corte Departemental Electoral de Potosi (elections office). Monthly salary: 500 bolivianos (euro 55, US$ 62).

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Posted April 18, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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2016 Predictions: Worst Case Scenarios   Leave a comment


Bloomberg

A Pessimist’s Guide to the World in 2016

Oil prices soar after Islamic State destroys facilities across the Middle East. Angela Merkel is forced to resign, throwing the European Union into disarray. The dollar slumps as Russian and Iranian hackers team up to launch cyber-attacks on U.S banks. Bloomberg News asked dozens of former and current diplomats, geopolitical strategists, security consultants, and economists to identify the possible worst-case scenarios, based on current global conflicts, that concern them most heading into 2016.

U.S. Banks Collapse

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South America Erupts

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China’s Economy Nosedives

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Planet Heats Up

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Great Britain Leaves The EU

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More EU Trouble

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Israel Attacks Iranian Nuclear Facilities

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Oil Prices Rocket to a Hundred Dollars a Barrel

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Donald Trump Wins Presidential Election

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Posted December 16, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Unexploded Bombs Find Everyday Use in Laos’ Villages   Leave a comment


NPR

The Vietnam War ended 40 years ago, but left a deadly legacy, especially in Laos. The US military dropped more than 2 million tons of bombs on the country during the war between 1964 and 1973, making Laos the most heavily bombed country in the world on a per capita basis. There were more than 580,000 bombing missions on Laos, equivalent to one bombing mission every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years. Not all of those bombs did what they were supposed to do. An estimated 30 percent of ordnance failed to explode, remaining live in the ground years after the war. They continue to detonate at unexpected places and at unexpected times, such as when children are playing.

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Boats made out of fuel tanks that were ejected from U.S. bombers.

A major cause of casualties, however, is villagers attempting to open the big bombs to sell the metal and the explosives inside to scrap dealers. A high quality bomb casing weighing up to 2,000 pounds can fetch more than $100. Empty bomb casings that once contained deadly explosives are visible all across the country in new forms — from hollowed out canoes and containers, to props holding houses above flood.

When photographer Mark Watson took a bicycle trip across the country, he was surprised to see these lethal devices being reused in extraordinary ways. “Scrap from such widespread bombing has been utilized in people’s homes and villages,” Watson said, “for everything from house foundations to planter boxes to buckets, cups and cowbells.”

Gathering bomb scraps is a deadly occupation, but the people were forced into the trade by poverty.

“Lots of agricultural land is denied to people because of the presence of UXO (unexploded ordnance), and this is the main problem. It prolongs poverty because people can’t do what they need to do. If they know that UXO is present, they will not plow deeply enough to get a good quality crop,” said David Hayter, of Mines Advisory Group (MAG), an NGO working to detect and remove mines and bombs.

But progress is slow and their budget limited. Meanwhile, people continue to get killed and injured by accidental detonation of live ordnance. As of 2012, at least 29,000 people have died from such accidents.

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Children pose near unexploded bombs recovered from around the village.

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A house in village uses a bomb casing as a garden decoration.

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Bomb casing used as a planter.

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Casings used as support stilts for a house.

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Metal recovered from bomb casing shaped into cow bells.

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A bomb casing turned into a boat.

Related post: https://markosun.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/the-nation-of-laos-has-the-dubious-distinction-of-being-the-most-bombed-country-in-history/

Posted October 23, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Illegal Aliens   Leave a comment


In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a national of that country, though definitions and terminology differs to some degree.

The term “alien” is derived from the Latin alienus, meaning stranger, foreign.

An illegal alien is a non-citizen who is present in a country unlawfully or without the country’s authorization. This could be because they overstayed their welcome or they slipped through the border undetected.

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California-Mexico border fence barrier

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'I've always wanted to ask him if he's an 'illegal,' but I don't want to get caught up in the whole racial profiling thing.'

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Posted August 22, 2015 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Stunning National Geographic Landscape Photos   Leave a comment


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Fishing Village in northern Norway

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Wild horses in Alberta

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Caroline Islands in the South Pacific

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Win the lottery and get a straw hut on this place.

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Hong Kong skyline, concrete jungle

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Elephants in Kenya

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Moroccan desert

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I get thirsty just looking at this pic.

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Gorge in Oregon

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Mountains in Xingping, China

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Two volcanoes in East Java, Indonesia

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Tailing pond in the Alberta oil sands

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Volcano in Iceland

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Fjord in Norway

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Posted November 30, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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World Revolver   Leave a comment


Stats
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Posted August 5, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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History of the World in 2 minutes   Leave a comment


Posted August 2, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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