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The Millennium Dome, London, England

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Photo: The Millennium Dome

The Millennium Dome, now officially known as The O2, is a large dome shaped building on the Greenwich peninsula in south east London, the United Kingdom. The name was officially changed when O2 plc purchased the naming rights from the developers, Anschutz Entertainment Group.

The dome was constructed in order to hold a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium. This exhibition opened to the public on January 1, 2000 and ran until December 31, 2000; however the project and exhibition was the subject of considerable political controversy and did not attract the number of visitors anticipated in its planning and costing.

Since the closure of the original exhibition, several possible ways of reusing the building have been proposed and then rejected. The renaming of the dome on May 31, 2005 gave publicity to the Dome's transition into an indoor sporting arena. In this role the plan is to host the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships and the artistic gymnastics and trampolining events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The sports area will be complemented by a proposed substantial entertainments complex, the contents of which are still the subject of political decision (and some major controversy).

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The Thames Barrier, London, England

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Thames Barrier is a flood control structure on the River Thames at Woolwich Reach in London. It is the world's second largest movable flood barrier after the Oosterscheldekering in The Netherlands.

Built across a 523 metre wide stretch of the river, the barrier divides the river into six navigable and four smaller non-navigable channels between nine large concrete piers. The flood gates across the openings are radial, i.e., half-cylindrical, and they operate by rotating, raised by hydraulics out of a horizontal sill below the water to form the barrier. They can rotate further to allow "underspill" for maintenance. All the gates are made of steel. The four large central gates are 61 metres long, 10.5 metres high (above local ground level) and weigh 1,500 tonnes; the outer two gates are 31.5 metres. Additionally, four radial gates by the riverbanks can be lowered. These gate openings, unlike the main six, are non-navigable.

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The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington, USA

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), commonly known as Homeland Security, is a Cabinet department of the Federal Government of the United States with the responsibility of protecting the territory of the United States from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters.

Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism.

With approximately 184,000 employees, DHS is the third largest cabinet department in the U.S. federal government after the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council, with Frances Townsend as the Homeland Security Advisor. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Energy.

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Dyess AFB, Abilene, Taylor County, Texas, USA

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Dyess AFB (IATA: DYS, ICAO: KDYS, FAA LID: DYS) is a military airport located five miles (8 km) southwest of the central business district (CBD) of Abilene, a city in Taylor County, Texas, USA. Dyess AFB was originally known as Abilene Air Force Base until it was renamed in December of 1956, after Lt. Col. William E. Dyess.

In 1942, the United States Army Air Forces built Tye Army Air Field on the site of what is now known as Dyess AFB. It was used mostly as a training center for cadets learning to fly the P-47 Thunderbolt. The airfield was closed shortly after the end of World War II and was sold to the city of Abilene for $1. The Texas National Guard used a portion of the old base as a training facility as well.

Shortly after the Korean War broke out, the city of Abilene called for the need of a military installation. They believed the 1,500 acres (6 km²) of the former Tye AAF were the perfect site for a new base. The city's leaders went to The Pentagon with their request. The city showed their determination for a new base by raising almost $1 million dollars to purchase an additional 3,500 acres (14 km²) adjacent to the site. They were able to attract U.S. Senator, and Texan, Lyndon B. Johnson's attention, who had the power to persuade military officials to put a base in Abilene. Finally, in July of 1952, Congress approved the $32 million needed to construct an Air Force Base on the Tye AAF site. It was to be called Abilene Air Force Base and a little over three years after first starting construction, the base was opened on April 15, 1956. Just eight months later, the base was renamed Dyess AFB after a Lt. Col. William E. Dyess, a native of Albany, Texas who died in a plane crash during World War II.

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Old powder-magazines, Sosnowiec Dańdówka, Poland

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Old powder-magazines in Sosnowiec Dańdówka, Poland

Send by: WojtekW


Sand excavation, Sosnowiec, Poland

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Sand excavation, Sosnowiec, Poland

Send by: Wojtek


Ramstein Air Base, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Photo: A retiring C-130 Hercules overflies the control tower at Ramstein AB.

Ramstein Air Base (located at 49°26.49′N 7°35.50′E) is a military airbase in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. The east gate of Ramstein Air Base is about 16 kilometers, or 10 miles, from Kaiserslautern (locally referred to by Americans as "K-Town"). Other nearby civilian communities include Ramstein-Miesenbach, just outside the base's west gate, and Landstuhl, about five kilometers from the west gate.

The host unit at Ramstein Air Base is the United States Air Force 435th Air Base Wing, which supports the USAF 86th Airlift Wing, 38th Combat Support Wing as well as other units at the base and surrounding region.

Ramstein is a NATO support installation; however, is not given the designation of a NATO base. Canadian, German, British, American, French, Belgian, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch forces are located at the base. The 86th's mission is the operation and maintenance of airlift assets consisting of C-130s, C-9s, C-20s, and C-21s throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. It has been rumored that Ramstein will be turned over to the German military within the next 20 years.

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The Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Photo: The Cape of Good Hope view

The Cape of Good Hope (Afrikaans: Kaap die Goeie Hoop, Dutch: Kaap de Goede Hoop) is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of South Africa. While it is possibly the best-known of the southern African capes, it is not actually the southernmost point of the continent; this is about 150 kilometres (90 mi) south-east at Cape Agulhas. However, the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 was the first major milestone in Portuguese attempts to establish a sea route to the Far East.

As one of the great capes of the Southern Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has been of special significance to sailors for many years, and is widely referred to by them simply as The Cape. or Cape Point . The Cape is a major milestone on the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, and still followed by several offshore yacht races.

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