Independence of the Seas - Worlds Largest Cruise on Way of Ocean

Independence of the Seas - Worlds Largest Cruise on Way of Ocean



The biggest cruise liner to be based in Britain took to the water yesterday at the Finnish shipyard where she is being built.

The £400 million, 160,000-tonne Independence of the Seas will be based in Southampton when she enters service in May. At the moment she is two-thirds complete, with 2,500 people working on her, according to Kvaerner Masa-Yards, the company building the liner.

At 1,112ft (340m), she will be bigger than the Queen Mary II and able to carry 4,375 passengers and more than 1,000 crew. This makes her the joint-biggest cruise liner in the world, along with her sister ships Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas, which are already in service. Facilities include a climbing wall and ice-skating rink.

The placing of the ship in Britain is an indication of the booming cruise market in the UK and Europe and the fierce competition between operators for a share of passengers.

But its reign as the biggest liner in the world will soon be usurped. Royal Caribbean, Independence of the Sea’s owner, is constructing a 220,000-tonne ship in the same yard called Project Genesis. The £700 million vessel, which will be able to carry 5,400 guests.

World's Largest Baby Grand Piano Cake Record set by Kalamazoo

World's Largest Baby Grand Piano Cake Record set by Kalamazoo


What is likely the world's largest cake made to look like a baby grand piano is on display in Kalamazoo. Workers from Confection Bakery spent part of the morning hauling the 300 lbs. cake across the Kalamazoo Mall. It's made to commemorate the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. "They have a baby grand piano that is in their lobby that is just gorgeous, and we wanted to emulate that and tie in some of the logo elements to their brochure and their website of the cake design," says Giti Henri, owner of the Confection Bakery. "That's what we did, and that's how we ended up with a cake that's four feet wide, by six feet long, and five feet high." The piano cake was made with 200 lbs. of sugar, 17 lbs. of shortening, and ten pounds of icing. It took workers at the Confection Bakery 21 days of planning and 183 hours of labor to make and decorate the piano cake - World Most Amazing Records

Students Dress as Mahatma Gandhi set Limca Book of Record 2010


In an effort to spread Gandhi's message of peace and non -violence, about 255 students from a school in Coimbatore city of southern India's Tamil Nadu state dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi.

Draped in white 'dhotis', or unsewn cloth, and sporting fake moustaches and spectacles they walked along holding bamboo canes and singing the 'Vande Mataram' song.

The students set a record and got the event registered in Limca Book of Records, a record book of Indian origin.

"For them it is a question of giving inspiration to the rest of the country's children that not to forget the fact that Mahatma Gandhi was the father of the Nation after all," said Aarthy, Editor, Limca Book of Record.

In keeping with the spirits of the event, 52 of the 255 students chose to actually shave their heads. Others covered their hair with cloth to look as if they were bald.

"Gandhi is the father of our nation and he loved peace and non-violence. I am very proud to be as Gandhi for a day, for this Guinness World Record, very proud," said participant Karthic Barathi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi, pioneered the philosophy of nonviolent resistance and was a major figure in the struggle for Indian independence. A Hindu radical assassinated him in 1948 in New Delhi.

Draped in white 'dhotis', or unsewn cloth, and sporting fake moustaches and spectacles they walked along holding bamboo canes and singing the 'Vande Mataram' song.The students set a record and got the event registered in Limca Book of Records, a record book of Indian origin."For them it is a question of giving inspiration to the rest of the country's children that not to forget the fact that Mahatma Gandhi was the father of the Nation after all," said Aarthy, Editor, Limca Book of Record. In keeping with the spirits of the event, 52 of the 255 students chose to actually shave their heads.

Others covered their hair with cloth to look as if they were bald."Gandhi is the father of our nation and he loved peace and non-violence. I am very proud to be as Gandhi for a day, for this Guinness World Record, very proud," said participant Karthic Barathi.Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi, pioneered the philosophy of nonviolent resistance and was a major figure in the struggle for Indian independence. A Hindu radical assassinated him in 1948 in New Delhi.


Students of AVB Matriculation Higher Secondary School Tamilnadu on Sunday attempted  Guinness World Records 2010  in creating the World largest finger painting.

Amazing Musical Instruments : Unique, Unusual, Odd, Strange Mind Expanding Musical Instruments


Amazing and unusual musical instruments

A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the beginnings of human culture. The academic study of musical instruments is called organology.

The date and origin of the first device of disputed status as a musical instrument dates back as far as 67,000 years old; artifacts commonly accepted to be early flutes date back as far as about 37,000 years old. However, most historians believe determining a specific time of musical instrument invention to be impossible due to the subjectivity of the definition.

Musical instruments developed independently in many populated regions of the world. However, contact among civilizations resulted in the rapid spread and adaptation of most instruments in places far from their origin. By the Middle Ages, instruments from Mesopotamia could be found in Maritime Southeast Asia and Europeans were playing instruments from North Africa. Development in the Americas occurred at a slower pace, but cultures of North, Central, and South America shared musical instruments.

Have a look at some most amazing and unusual musical instruments:



A HAPI Drum 

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An easy to play melodic steel tongue drum, inspired by the Hang Drum, The unique tone of the HAPI Drum, available at HapiTones.com is created by a tuned vibrating tongue of steel. The concept is similar to a wooden tongue drum. When a tongue is quickly and lightly struck with the finger or mallet, it vibrates creating sound waves.

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Watch a video demo of the HAPI Drum:



Aeolian Wind Harp

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Played by the wind; free of the touch of human hands, Sometimes called Harmonic Harps, wind harps originated in ancient Greece (circa 6 BC) and flourised throughout the Renaissance era. Aeolian Harps are rare, beautiful instruments designed to be played by the wind; free of the touch of human hands.


Amazing Pencilina

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Collision of dulcimer, bass, koto, slide guitar. Bradford Reed fights and tames the idiosyncrasies of the pencilina, an original instrument of his own design and construction.The pencilina is an electric board zither played primarily by striking the strings with sticks; also by plucking and bowing.

Watch a video of Braford playing the Pencilina


Aquaggaswack

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29 hanging pot lids, a gong tree with a wide sonic palette. he first version of the Aquaggaswack, built in 1996, only had about 18 pot lids and was narrower (It didn't have the outer sections). This second version, revamped in 1998, has 29 pot lids representing a majority of the notes in an octave, plus some quarter-tones. The center lids have mostly "bell"-like tones and the outer sets have a more "gong"-like tone. All the lids were obtained from thrift stores and friends.

Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall Organ

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World's largest and loudest musical instrument, 150 tons and 33,112 pipes. The Convention Hall Auditorium Organ is the pipe organ in the Main Auditorium of the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, built by the Midmer-Losh Organ Company. The great hall itself is also part of the world's largest pipe organ and was formerly known as the Atlantic City Convention Hall, which can seat 41,000 people in the main auditorium.
The massive organ has 33,112 pipes in 455 ranks, including a full-length 64 foot Diaphone Profunda, ten 32 foot ranks, and manual and pedal reeds that are under 100 inches of wind pressure, while most organs never exceed 10 inches of pressure. In total, there are 4 stops on 100 inches of wind pressure, and there are 10 stops on 50 inches of wind pressure, ear burtsing stuff, but all in order to fill the giant room with sound. The electric blowers that power the organ approach 1,000 horsepower, the kind of power needed to fill a hall larger than 15 million cubic feet. A tour of the entire organ takes 4 1/2 hours.

Balalaika

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3-string folk instrument from Russia and the Ukraine. The Balalaika family includes, from the highest-pitched to the lowest, the prima, sekunda, alto, bass and contrabass balalaika. All have three-sided bodies, spruce or fir tops and backs made of from three to nine wooden sections, and all have three strings. The most common solo instrument is the prima, tuned E-E-A (the two lower strings being tuned to the same pitch). The piccolo, prima, and secunda balalaikas are ideally strung with gut (or, today, usually nylon) strings on the lower pegs and a wire string on the top peg.

Bamboo Saxophones

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Sax's crafted by Ángel Sampedro del Rio. Carefully electronically tuned, Ángel Sampedro del Rio's Bamboo saxophones consist of segments of bamboo successively larger in diameter.
This progression has now been demonstrated by acoustical studies as the most harmonically effective. 

Bandura

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Ukrainian Bandura by Dwight Newton. Ukrainian bandura -- 36 strings, walnut/spruce, original modified bracing pattern. The invention of an instrument combining the elements of lute and psaltery itself is currently creditable to Francesco Landini, an Italian lutenist-composer of trecento. Filippo Villani writes in "Liber de civitatis Florentiae": "...(Landini) invented a new sort of instrument, a cross between lute and psaltery, which he called the serena serenarum, an instrument that produces an exquisite sound when its strings are struck." 

Glass Armonica

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Invented in 1761 by Benjamin Franklin, the Glass Armonica was one of his favorite inventions. The word "Armonica" is the Italian word for "Harmony". It is played on the same principle of rubbing a wet finger around the rim of a wineglass. The glass bowls are individually tuned, so that they do not need to be filled with water, though the players fingers do need to be moistened with water. The glass bowls are tuned by size, mounted one inside each other with cork on a metal spindle. The glasses are made to spin with a flywheel attached to a foot pedal. The composer Mozart, being into Oddmusic himself, composed two of his works specifically for the Glass Armonica.


Watch a video of playing the Glass Armonica



Synphonium


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If you're ever in Toulouse, France, look out for pianist Philippe Bataille and his Synphonium. A year in the making, powered by a car battery, it contains 2 synthesizers, and other goodies too secret to be disclosed.


Wheelharp


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While adjusting his Hurdy Gurdy one day, Jon Jones of Southeast Missouri thought it would be nice to be able to select which string came into contact with the wheel, and also have lots and lots of strings!

After about a year and a half of working out the idea in his head, he found out about the Geigenwerk, which is very similar in principal, though the construction is quite a bit different. Jon stuck with his original design, because of all the planning he put into it, and like most creative experimenters, he just HAD to see if it worked. 

The Javanese Bonang

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The Javanese Bonang has a wooden frame on which brass gongs are strung together. The brass heads are struck with padded sticks to create the desired sound and tone.

Kalimbas

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Kalimbas, also called thumb pianos, come from a family of instruments with a wide variety of names, Mbira is probably the most well known. They have their origin in many parts of Africa. These "Made in Oregon" Kalimbas are handcrafted from homegrown gourds and a variety of hardwood tops. Each is carefully tuned with two rows of keys tuned an octave apart. The lowest note is in the center. To walk up the scale the thumbs alternate left-right, left-right etc. To care for the instrument keep it dry and protected from long exposure to hot sun.

The Largest Number Of Dominoes Stacked On One Single Piece by Alexander Bendikov

The Largest Number Of Dominoes Stacked On One Single Piece by Alexander Bendikov

A very steady hand indeed is required to break this record! - The largest number of dominoes stacked on one single piece was 1,036 achieved by Alexander Bendikov in Minsk, Belarus!

Amazing Giant Panda: Endangered Species, Giant Pandas Facts, Photos, Information, Habitats, News


Giant Panda - Ailuropoda melanoleuca (Endangered Species)



The giant panda, or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning "black and white cat-foot") is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared feed.

The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Due to farming, deforestation and other development, the panda has been driven out of the lowland areas where it once lived.

The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.

While the dragon has historically served as China's national emblem, in recent decades the panda has also served as an emblem for the country. Its image appears on a large number of modern Chinese coins in gold, silver, bimetallic gold & silver, platinum, palladium, bronze, brass, and copper.

The giant panda has an insatiable appetite for bamboo. A typical animal eats half the day—a full 12 out of every 24 hours—and relieves itself dozens of times a day. It takes 28 pounds (12.5 kilograms) of bamboo to satisfy a giant panda's daily dietary needs, and it hungrily plucks the stalks with elongated wrist bones that function rather like thumbs. Pandas will sometimes eat birds or rodents as well.

Wild pandas live only in remote, mountainous regions in central China. These high bamboo forests are cool and wet—just as pandas like it. They may climb as high as 13,000 feet (3,962 meters) to feed on higher slopes in the summer season.

Pandas are often seen eating in a relaxed sitting posture, with their hind legs stretched out before them. They may appear sedentary, but they are skilled tree-climbers and efficient swimmers.

Giant pandas are solitary. They have a highly developed sense of smell that males use to avoid each other and to find females for mating in the spring. After a five-month pregnancy, females give birth to a cub or two, though they cannot care for both twins. The blind infants weigh only 5 ounces (142 grams) at birth and cannot crawl until they reach three months of age. They are born white, and develop their much loved coloring later.

There are only about 1,000 giant pandas left in the wild. Perhaps 100 pandas live in zoos, where they are always among the most popular attractions. Much of what we know about pandas comes from study of these zoo animals, because their wild cousins are so rare and elusive.


Fast Facts about Giant Panda

Type: Mammal
Diet: Omnivore
Average life span in the wild: 20 years
Size: 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m)
Weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
Protection status: Endangered


Giant Panda Pictures