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Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota, USA

May 9th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, near Keystone, South Dakota, is a monumental granite sculpture located within the United States Presidential Memorial that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278 acres (5.17 km²), and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level. It is managed by the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The memorial attracts approximately 2 million people annually.

Known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore, a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885. At first, the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. After long negotiations involving a Congressional delegation and President Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval. The carving started in 1927 and ended in 1941 with a few injuries and no deaths.


The Rheinturm, Düsseldorf, Germany

May 4th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Rheinturm Düsseldorf is a 240.5 metre high concrete telecommunication tower in Düsseldorf, Germany , Capital of the federal state (Bundesland) of North Rhine-Westphalia. It was built from 1979 until 1981. The Rheinturm carries aerials for directional radio, FM and TV transmitters and has in a height of 174.5 metre a revolving restaurant and in a height of 170 metres an observation deck.

The Rheinturm was inaugaurated on December 1, 1981. It contains of 7,500 cubic metres concrete and weighs 22,500 tons. Until October 15, 2004, when an aerial for DVB-T was mounted, it was 234.2 metres high.

As special attraction there is a light sculpture on its shaft, which works as a clock. This sculpture was designed by Horst H. Baumann and is called Lichtzeitpegel (light time level). The light sculpture on the Rheinturm is the biggest decimal clock in the world.


Rano Raraku Moai, Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

April 7th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Rano Raraku Moai on Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

About 95% of the 887 moai known to date were carved out of compressed volcanic ash at Rano Raraku, where 394 moai still remain visible today.

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Persepolis, Iran

March 31st, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

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Persepolis was an ancient ceremonial capital of the second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenid Empire, situated some 70 km northeast of modern city of Shiraz, not far from where the small river Pulwar flows into the Kur (Kyrus). To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Parsa, meaning the city of Persians, Persepolis being the Greek interpretation of the name (Περσες (meaning Persian)+ πόλις (meaning city)). In contemporary Iran the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid).

The largest and most complex building in Persepolis was the audience hall, or Apadana with 36 columns, accessible by two large sets of stairs.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 518 BC.

Andre Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Persepolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great who chose the site of Persepolis, but it was Darius the Great who built the terrace and the great palaces.


Rhine Falls, Switzerland

March 29th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Rhine Falls (Rheinfall in Switzerland) are the largest plain waterfalls of Europe.

They are located in the High Rhine upper course of the river Rhine, in the municipality of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland and close to the German border. They are 150 m (450 ft) wide and 23 m (75 ft) high, with an average flow of some 700 m³/s of water.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Osaka International Airport, Japan

March 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Osaka International Airport is the primary domestic airport for the Kansai region of Japan, including the major cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. It is classified as a first class airport.

The airport is often called Itami Airport because most of its land is located in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture. However, the terminal complex is located in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, and the only access from the Itami side is via a long tunnel that passes below the runway and apron.

Despite its "international" designation, the airport's scheduled air traffic is mostly domestic. Kansai International Airport (27mi away) took over Osaka's international traffic in 1994 and competes with Itami for domestic traffic. Itami also faces competition from Kobe Airport (16mi away), a smaller domestic airport opened in 2006.


Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua

March 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Lake Nicaragua or Cocibolca or Granada (Spanish: Lago de Nicaragua, Lago Cocibolca, Mar Dulce, Gran Lago, Gran Lago Dulce, or Lago de Granada) is a massive freshwater lake in Nicaragua of tectonic origin. With an area of 8264 km², it is the third largest lake in Latin America, the 21st largest lake in the world and only slightly smaller than Lake Titicaca. With an elevation of 32 m (105 ft) above sea level, the lake reaches a depth of 26 m (84 ft). It is intermittently joined by the Tipitapa River to Lake Managua.

The lake is connected to the Caribbean Sea by the San Juan River, historically making the lakeside city of Granada, Nicaragua an Atlantic port although it is closer to the Pacific. The lake has a history of Caribbean pirates. Despite draining into the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean is near enough to be seen from the mountains of Ometepe.


Entrance to Tokyo Bay AquaLine, Tokyo, Japan

March 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Entrance to Tokyo Bay AquaLine, Tokyo, Japan

The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line is a bridge-tunnel-combination across Tokyo Bay in Japan. It connects the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture with the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture. With an overall length of 14 km, it includes a 4.4 km bridge and 9.6 km tunnel underneath the bay - which is the longest underwater tunnel for cars in the world.

At the bridge-tunnel crossover point, there is an artificial island called the "Umi-hotaru (海ほたる, engl. sea firefly)" with a rest area as well as the usual restaurants, shops and amusement facilities. The characteristic wind tower Kaze no tō (風の塔) in the middle of the tunnel is used to pump air into the tunnel.

The road carries National Route 409 across the bay. It opened on December 18, 1997 after 31 years of construction at a cost of 1.44 trillion yen (11.2 billion USD at the time of opening). With the Tokyo Wan Aqualine the drive from the most important industrial regions Chiba and Kanagawa is reduced to 15 minutes. Before it was opened one had to drive a 100km long way along the Tokyo Bay which automatically leads through the center of Tokyo. One aim during the planning of the Aqualine was to reduce the traffic through the center of Tokyo, but as the highway toll is still quite high at 3,700 Yen, this effect doesn't take place as strong as expected.