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Photos - March 2010

History of Olympic Torches

March 31st 2010 02:42
The Olympic Flame or Olympic Torch is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.

In contrast to the Olympic flame proper, the torch relay of modern times which transports the flame from Greece to the various designated sites of the games had no ancient precedent and was introduced by Carl Diem at the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The Olympic Torch today is ignited several months before the opening celebration of the Olympic Games at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Eleven women, representing the Vestal Virgins, perform a ceremony in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.

The Olympic Torch Relay ends on the day of the opening ceremony in the central stadium of the Games. The final carrier is often kept unnoticed until the last moment, and is usually a sports celebrity of the host country. The final bearer of the torch runs towards the cauldron, often placed at the top of a grand staircase, and then uses the torch to start the flame in the stadium. It is considered a great honour to be asked to light the Olympic Flame. After being lit, the flame continues to burn throughout the Olympics, and is extinguished on the day of the closing ceremony.

The New York Times has a fantastic article which details every Olympic torch since 1936 and the inspiration behind the design. Take a look here.

History of olympic torches
Screenshot March 3rd, 2010.

*This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia page for Olympic Flame.

Domestic Food Waste

March 29th 2010 00:27
Food waste from packaging, processing or other means can have a dramatically varied impact, depending on the amount produced and how it is dealt with; in some countries the amount of food waste is negligible and has little impact. In countries such as the US and the UK however, the social, economic and environmental impact of food wastage is enormous.

In the UK, 6.7 million tonnes per year of wasted food (purchased and edible food which is discarded) amounts to a cost of £10.2 billion each year. This translates a cost of £250 to £400 a year for every British household.

A study by the University of Arizona in 2004, indicated that 14-15 per cent of US edible food is untouched or unopened, amounting to $43 billion worth of discarded, but edible, food.

This article on NCF discusses food waste in more detail and in particular examines its effect on climate change. The infographic below is taken from the article. Click on the image to view a larger version.

Food waste information

*This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia page for Food Waste.

Healthcare Costs Around The World

March 26th 2010 01:14
There are a wide variety of health care systems around the world varying from country to country. Some systems seem to be more effective than others. The United States for example, spends more of it's GDP on health care than any other nation, yet its rates of infant mortality and life expectancy are poor compared to other developed countries.

The info-graphic below breaks down health care costs and expenditures in the developed world.
Sourced from Visual Economics.

Health Care
Click to enlarge


Countries With Limited Recognition

March 24th 2010 01:20
The map of the world as you know might not be totally correct, depending on who you talk to that is. There are a surprising number of states whose very existence is disputed. It may only be only one country that refuses to recognise them, or it could be the majority of nations.
The map below, sourced from The Herald Daily here, details the disputed areas of the world and some reasons why. Information from Wikipedia.

unrecognised countries
click to enlarge

Armenia is not recognized by one UN member, Pakistan, as this country has a position of supporting Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) is not recognized by one UN non-member, the Republic of China (ROC, commonly known as 'Taiwan'). The PRC does not accept diplomatic relations with states that recognize the ROC (currently 22 UN member states and the Holy See). None of these states officially recognize the PRC as a state, though certain governments have made statements expressing an interest in official relations with both the PRC and the ROC. According to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, the PRC is the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.

Cyprus is not recognized by one UN member, Turkey and one UN non-member, Northern Cyprus, as they do not accept that the Turkish military presence on Cyprus is an 'occupying force'.

Israel is not recognized by 19 UN members and one UN non-member, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, because of the Arab-Israeli conflict[38]. It is recognized by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which claims the right to set up a state in territory currently controlled by Israel.

North Korea is not recognized by two UN members: Japan and South Korea.

South Korea is not recognized by one UN member, North Korea.

Earthquake in Chile

March 23rd 2010 01:42
earthquake in chile
A resident observes the San Francisco de Curico church after it was damaged in a major earthquake in Curico, Chile on March 1, 2010.

The 2010 Chilean earthquake occurred off the coast of the Maule Region of Chile on February 27, 2010, at 03:34 local time, rating a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale and lasting about three minutes. An aftershock of 6.2 was recorded 20 minutes after the initial quake. Two more aftershocks of magnitudes 5.4 and 5.6 followed within an hour of the initial quake. By March 6, more than one hundred thirty aftershocks had been registered, including thirteen above magnitude 6.0. The cities experiencing the strongest shaking—IX (Ruinous) on the Mercalli intensity scale—were Talcahuano, Arauco, Lota, Chiguayante, Cañete, Talca, Concepcion, and San Antonio. The earthquake was felt in the capital Santiago at Mercalli intensity scale VIII (Destructive). Tremors were felt in many Argentine cities, including Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza and La Rioja. Tremors were felt as far north as the city of Ica in southern Peru. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and a tsunami was recorded, with amplitude of up to 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) high, at Valparaíso. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe".

Destruction by earthquake
A boat lies marooned on a street in Talcahuano, Chile, Monday, March 1, 2010. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday triggering a tsunami that hit coastal communities.

Seismologists estimate that the earthquake was so powerful that it may have shortened the length of the day by 1.26 microseconds and moved the Earth's figure axis by 8 cm or 2.7 milliarcseconds. It also moved the entire city of Concepción 10 feet to the west. The capital Santiago, moved 11 inches west, and even Buenos Aires, nearly 800 miles from the epicenter, shifted an inch.

Chilean earthquake of 2010
An armed man stands guard on his rooftop in Talcahunao, Chile on March 1, 2010, as civil unrest and mass looting has led to a curfew being imposed.

In Chile, at least 500,000 homes are estimated to be damaged. At least 500 people were reported killed.

Earthquake rescue workers
Rescuers carry a puppy found alive inside a destroyed house in Constitucion, Chile, Monday, March 1 , 2010.

The images in this post sourced from the Big Picture. Read the full article here.

Earthquake damage in Chile
A woman stands inside a destroyed house in Talca, Chile on March 1, 2010.

*This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia page for 2010 Chile earthquake.

Creative Photography

March 19th 2010 03:12 has put together a breathtaking article showcasing some amazing pieces of creative photography. It takes incredible time, imagination and creativity to produce images of this quality. A sample of the collection is below. To find out more or view the full collection click here.

[ Click here to read more ]

Saint Patrick's Day

March 17th 2010 00:48
Saint Patrick's Day is a national holiday of Ireland, normally celebrated on March 17th. It is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland. It is also widely celebrated in Great Britain, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. There are also celebrations in other major cities throughout the world. The day is often celebrated by marching, feasting and the colour green. The city of Chicago, for example, dies its river green for the day.
Thanks to the Chicago Tribune, here are some images of St Patrick's Day celebrations the world over. View the full article here.

[ Click here to read more ]

Dietary Supplement

March 15th 2010 01:57
Health Supplements - Do they really offer any benefits?

[ Click here to read more ]

Volcanic Eruptions

March 12th 2010 01:50
A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in the Earth's surface or crust, which allows hot magma, ash and gases to escape from below the surface.

Below are some pictures of volcanic eruptions and the associated lava and ash. See the full photoset at here
[ Click here to read more ]

This infographic will tell you every statistic you need to know about the Oscars. How much does it cost to produce a statuette? What effect does winning an Academy Award have on your career? How many Oscars are handed out each year? What will it cost you to put a film up for Oscar consideration? What is the average age of Oscar winners and what is the shortest film ever to win Best Picture?

The answers to all these questions and more is below

[ Click here to read more ]

The Facts About Smoking

March 8th 2010 01:19
From 1965 to 2006, rates of smoking in the United States have declined from 42% to 20.8%. A significant majority of those who quit were professional, affluent men. Despite this decrease in the prevalence of consumption, the average number of cigarettes consumed per person per day increased from 22 in 1954 to 30 in 1978. This paradoxical event suggests that those who quit smoked less, while those who continued to smoke moved to smoke more light cigarettes. This trend has been paralleled by many industrialized nations as rates have either levelled-off or declined. In the developing world, however, tobacco consumption continues to rise at 3.4% in 2002. In Africa, smoking is in most areas considered to be modern, and many of the strong adverse opinions that prevail in the West receive much less attention. Today Russia leads as the top consumer of tobacco followed by Indonesia, Laos, Ukraine, Belarus, Greece, Jordan, and China.

The info-graphic below lays out the raw facts about smoking including the statistics on how it affects your health, how easy it is to quit, what does smoking cost the economy, how much revenue governments raise from smokers and how much of that do they spend on anti-tobacco campaigns

[ Click here to read more ]

Mountain Goats

March 5th 2010 03:12
Mountain Goats generally reside in alpine areas above the tree line. They are the largest mammals living in this region, but avoid predators by resting on rocky cliffs.
Mountain Goats are sure footed climbers, so much so their daily exploits seem impossible or at the very least crazy to human observers.
The images below sourced from give an insight into the climbing abilities of Mountain Goats. See the full photoset which includes other goat varieties here
[ Click here to read more ]

Time Lapse Snow Fall

March 3rd 2010 02:58

What does 12 inches of snow look like in 5 seconds??

[ Click here to read more ]

Valentine's Day By The Numbers

March 1st 2010 02:24

The origins of Valentine's day probably date back to 270 A.D. when St Valentine was executed for secretly marrying couples. It has become the day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting various gifts.
Valentine's Day has also become a very sweet day for retailers across the globe with massive profits made on flowers, cards, chocolate, teddy bears and many other items

[ Click here to read more ]

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