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Thursday, August 19, 2010

How are the future cities like? Part 1

Ever thought about the cities of tomorrow? Let's travel through some:





Sunday, June 28, 2009

The world's most haunted places (Part 1)


1.The Myrtles Plantation

St. Francisville, Louisiana
From Stephen Wagner


The Myrtles Plantation

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, this stately old home is said to be haunted be several restless ghosts. Some researchers say as many as ten murders have been committed there, but others, such as Troy Taylor and David Wisehart, have only been able to confirm one murder at Myrtles. (Those two authors provide a very good history of the house in their article, The Legends, Lore & Lies of The Myrtles Plantation).

Even they agree, however, that the place is seriously haunted and easily qualifies as one of the "most haunted." These are some of the ghosts that allegedly haunt the house:

* Cleo – a former slave who was allegedly hung on the premises for killing two little girls. (Those murders and even the existence of Cleo are in question.)
* The ghosts of the two murdered children have been seen playing on the veranda.
* William Drew Winter – an attorney who lived at Myrtles from 1860 to 1871. He was shot on the side porch of the house by a stranger. With his life's blood pouring from his body, Winter staggered into the house and began to climb the stairs to the second floor... but didn't make it. He collapsed and died on the 17th step. It is his last dying footsteps that can still be heard on the staircase to this day. (Winter's murder is the only one that has been verified.)
* The ghosts of other slaves allegedly occasionally show up to ask if they can do any chores.
* The grand piano has often been heard to play by itself, repeating one haunting chord.

Now a bed and breakfast, The Myrtles Plantation has opened its doors to guests who often report disturbances in the night. My colleague, Stacey Jones, founder of Central New York Ghost Hunters, reports on her stay there:

"It was a spectacular place to stay, if you keep an open mind. While taking the guided tour, I saw what looked like a heavyset African-American woman wearing an apron walk by the door, on the porch. Thinking it was a worker in period dress, I peeked out and no one was there. We stayed in the children's bedroom, and my best-friend (who was a non-believer at the time) experienced quite a bit of paranormal phenomena. She was held down in the bed and constantly poked all night. She was unable to move or cry out for help. She didn't think the stay was as great as I did. They let you ghost hunt on the grounds whenever you like, but you can't ghost hunt in the main house without an escort. I suggest setting up a video camera in your room and bring a tape recorder to obtain EVP."

2.The Tower of London
London, England
From Stephen Wagner



The Tower of London. Photo: Jeff Thomas

The Tower of London, one of the most famous and well-preserved historical buildings in the world, may also be one of the most haunted. This is due, no doubt, to the scores of executions, murders and tortures that have taken place within its walls over the last 1,000 years. Dozens upon dozens of ghost sightings have been reported in and around the Tower. On one winter day in 1957 at 3 a.m., a guard was disturbed by something striking the top of his guardhouse. When he stepped outside to investigate, he saw a shapeless white figure on top of the tower. It was then realized that on that very same date, February 12, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded in 1554.

Perhaps the most well-known ghostly resident of the Tower is the spirit of Ann Boleyn, one of the wives of Henry VIII, who was also beheaded in the Tower in 1536. Her ghost has been spotted on many occasions, sometimes carrying her head, on Tower Green and in the Tower Chapel Royal.

Other ghosts of the Tower include those of Henry VI, Thomas a Becket and Sir Walter Raleigh. One of the most gruesome ghost stories connected with the Tower of London describes death of the Countess of Salisbury. According to one account, "the Countess was sentenced to death in 1541 following her alleged involvement in criminal activities (although it is now widely believed that she was probably innocent). After being sent struggling to the scaffold, she ran from the block and was pursued until she was hacked to death by the axe man." Her execution ceremony has been seen re-enacted by spirits on Tower Green.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Ten of the World’s Most Religious Cities

written by Deanna Hyland
Religion plays a large important role in the lives of many people in the world. It can unite and bring peace and harmony to large groups, but it can also cause anger, strife, and long-lasting, deadly wars. Throughout history these ten cities have been significant spots for major religious events. They continue to be pilgrimage sites for millions. If you get the opportunity to visit any of them it’s sure to be an unbelievable experience.

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Mecca
Mecca is the holiest of cities in Islam. In 2008, the yearly Hajj pilgrimage attracted two to three million people to the city. This pilgrimage is part of the Five Pillars of Islam, and is required of any capable Muslim at least once in their life. Saudi law forbids non-Muslims to enter Mecca.
The history of Mecca is old, old, old, with the first story coming from a pre-Islamic legend. The tale tells of Adam and Eve being cast out of Paradise, with Adam landing in what is now Sri Lanka and Eve landing in Arabia. They wandered for 200 years before finally reuniting on Mt. Arafat near Mecca. God eventually allowed Adam to build a shrine, and the legend states that he was buried in what is now Mecca.
Perhaps a more accurate historical account begins in 2,000 BC when Abraham and his son Ishmael built the Kaaba, a cube-shaped building in Mecca and now the most sacred of all sites in Islam. The Kaaba is the place that all Muslims face during their prayers, no matter where they are in the world.
The prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570. In 630 he took control of the city, destroyed 360 pagan idols, declared the city a place of Muslim pilgrimage and dedicated it to the worship of only Allah, thus forming the Islam faith.


Lhasa, Tibet

Lhasa


Lhasa literally translates to “place of the gods.” The city was the home of the Dalai Lamas, political leaders of Tibet and religious leaders of Tibetan Buddhism, from the 1600’s until the Chinese invaded and the 14th Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959. Today you’ll find the Tibetans a minority of the population compared to the Chinese.
Lhasa has many sites that are of historical significance including Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka and the Potala Palace, which are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites; and Sera and Drepung Monasteries, and Zhefeng Temple.
Over one million people go to Tibet each year. You’ll often see the devout pilgrims in Lhasa kneeling or lying prone with their foreheads on the ground. These pilgrims will be trying to gain spiritual merit by following one of the three concentric pathways that go inside or around Johkhang Temple.

Bethlehem

Bethlehem
This small town of 30,000 people is located six miles outside of Jerusalem and is thought to be the birthplace of Jesus by most Christians. It is home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities, even though it is primarily a Muslim city.
History abounds in this almost 2,000-year-old city. It is the birthplace of David and the location where he was crowned king of Israel. Records show that over the centuries it has been attacked and conquered many times by many people - the Romans, Samaritans, Muslim armies, Crusaders, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Ottomans, and the British during WWI. Most recently it was occupied by Israeli troops. Currently, it is controlled by the Palestinian National Authority.
The city is most renowned for the biblical story surrounding Jesus. Two different accounts in the New Testament mention Bethlehem as the place of his birth, but modern day scholars question the accuracy of this. Regardless, Christian pilgrims flock to the city especially at Christmas and Easter, to see the Church of the Nativity, which is thought to mark the place of Christ’s birth, and to be one of the oldest churches in the world.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi
Located in northern India, Varanasi is a holy place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. According to legend the city was started by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and is the most sacred place of all of the seven sacred cities of Hindu. But, if you look at historical records Varanasi was probably founded about 3,000 years ago as an industrial center for muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes and ivory.
Over one million pilgrims visit the city each year. Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges River forgives sin and that dying in this area ensures the release of a person’s soul. There are about 100 ghats (a series of steps leading down to the river) in the city. Many are privately owned and most are used for bathing, cremation or disposal of partially burned corpses. Friends from India report that the water is pretty dirty, so you might want to think twice before you attempt a bathing experience.
Varanasi is also one of four important Buddhist pilgrimage sites appointed by Guatama Buddha. He is said to have given his first sermon on the basic principles of Buddhism here.
The main attraction in the city is the ghats, but there are also many temples to see. Over the centuries the temples in the city have been destroyed numerous times by invading Muslims, who then used the materials to build mosques. There is still some racial tension in the city today.

10 of the World’s Most Beautiful Ancient Cities

Written by Matthew Rogers on June 3rd, 2009 - Topics: Geography and Travel, History and Trivia

montagetop

Children always think the town they grew up in has been there since the dawn of time, just like they think their parents are giants that will never die. As we grow older, we discover that where we live is quite often merely as old as our grandparents, or an antique car. Sometimes this can be a startling revelation, but it couldn’t possibly match the awe that must be felt to realize the city you live in has existed for 10,000 years!

Damascus

montage1


(images via french irish, ben taher)


The Capital of Syria, it’s generally agreed upon that Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. With its population estimated at over 4 million people, this city is as crowded as it is old, and it’s believed to have been settled nearly 12,000 years ago! At that time, mankind was barely out of the Stone Age.


Plovdiv

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(images via Emilofero, horstgeorg)


While only the second largest city in Bulgaria, behind the Capital, Sofia, Plovdiv has its own fame. This city has been inhabited by man since at least 4,000 BCE, with some believing it to be closer to 6,000. It’s easily one of the most overlooked cities in the world, as it’s stunningly beautiful and packed full of historic artifacts and monuments.


Beirut

montage3


(images via SwaitoSlaw WojTkowiak, Ageel)


This city makes the news these days for its on-again off-again involvement in regional strife, but it used to be called the Paris of the Levant, even though it out-dates Paris by thousands of years. Beirut has been a city of Man for at least 5,000 years, and theories suggest it could actually be more like 20,000, making it the oldest city on Earth.


Jerusalem

montage4


(images via ashi, cbrodzky, Ula…)


No other city in all of human history has ever been so hotly contested for such a long period of time. Jerusalem is called Holy by billions of people world-wide, and has been for centuries. While the city’s involvement with major religions may only span roughly 3,000 years, the settlement itself is believed to have been founded over 6,000 years ago.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Man eating Python (not for weak-heart and food problem meeting ones)


"Oh my god, can't imagine someday you place yourself in a giant snake bell. Human ate them, and now they return to eat human. I used to think it's just scared movie, but..."


The pictures below allegedly document a recent incident of a snake eating a person. The accompanying stories vary as to victim (local child, camper, or oil rig crew member) and location (South America with the snake an anaconda, Borneo, and Singapore). The snake is a reticulated python.





The two pictures below obviously are of poorer quality and detail than the ones above. The pictures above also seem to have been in circulation several years before the ones below appeared. The lump appears to be of a stocky animal such as a pig rather than of a person. The person's body has very little mucus on it for having been inside a snake. Those who keep snakes well know how slimy food items get, especially when a snake regurgitates. It's difficult to ascertain where his arms are; one of them should be lying right along his side, since they would have to fold that way during the snake's feeding. His arms may be extending up into the snake to open a path for his head and chest. The upper torso appears to be within a bag inside the snake. The python's stomach and/or intestine also seem to have disappeared. Most experts suspect that these were staged photographs, though I have to give the man credit for crawling that far into the snake. In any event, no news service has ever carried a story relating to these photographs … and it would have made a great story. Some Internet sites with information on these pictures are:


The picture below was taken in Malaysia and printed in a local magazine there. The reticulated python could not completely eat the person. An adult human's shoulders present a real obstacle to the biggest snake. Whether the person already was dead or was killed by the snake remains unknown.


 
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I am Yagoobing, the name combined from Yahoo, Google and Bing famous search engines. I love sharing interesting things, playing with words and controlling my online community. Thanks for your visitting.