Welcome to Inashrestha's Blog; Different way to blog :D

Welcome to Inashrestha's Blog; Different way to blog :D

Friday, May 30, 2008

10 Wonders of the New China !

It's a hotbed of innovative architecture, from diaphanous theaters to buildings heated and cooled by water

International Design

China's current building boom is doing more than sucking up the world's supply of steel -- it's creating a stage for some of today's boldest architecture and engineering. Take a tour of the 10 of the most intriguing examples.

Beijing International Airport , Beijing

Foster & Partners. Under construction, to be completed in late 2007
According to the U.S. Embassy to China , the country will be building 108 new airports between 2004 and 2009 -- including what will be the world's largest: the Beijing International Airport, designed by Foster & Partners. Set to open at the end of 2007, in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the airport terminal will cover more than 1 million square meters, giving it a bigger footprint than the Pentagon.

It's designed to handle 43 million passengers a year initially and 55 million by 2015, figures that will probably push the new facility into the ranks of the top 10 busiest airports, going by the 2004 numbers from the Airports Council International. Given the scale and traffic, Foster & Partners focused on the traveler's experience, making sure that walking distances are short, for instance.

Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai

Kohn Pederson Fox Architects. Under construction, completion scheduled for 2008
Rising in the Lujiazhui financial district in Pudong, the Shanghai World Financial Center is a tower among towers. The elegant 101-story skyscraper will be (for a moment, at least) the world's tallest when completed in early 2008.

One of the biggest challenges of building tall is creating a structure that can withstand high winds. The architects devised an innovation solution to alleviate wind pressure by adding a rectangular cut-out at the building's apex. Not only does the open area help reduce the building's sway but it also will be home to the world's highest outdoor observation deck -- a 100th-floor vista that will take vertigo to new heights.

National Swimming Center, Beijing

PTW and Ove Arup. Under construction, completion scheduled for 2008
The striking exterior of the National Swimming Center, being constructed for the 2008 Olympic Games and nicknamed, the "Water Cube," is made from panels of a lightweight form of Teflon that transforms the building into an energy-efficient greenhouse-like environment. Solar energy will also be used to heat the swimming pools, which are designed to reuse double-filtered, backwashed pool water that's usually dumped as waste.

Excess rainwater will also be collected and stored in subterranean tanks and used to fill the pools. The complex engineering system of curvy steel frames that form the structure of the bubble-like skin are based on research into the structural properties of soap bubbles by two physicists at Dublin 's Trinity College . The unique structure is designed to help the building withstand nearly any seismic disruptions.

Central Chinese Television CCTV, Beijing

OMA/Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas. Under construction, scheduled for completion in 2008
The design of the new Central Chinese Television (CCTV) headquarters defies the popular conception of a skyscraper -- and it broke Beijing's building codes and required approval by a special review panel. The standard systems for engineering gravity and lateral loads in buildings didn't apply to the CCTV building, which is formed by two leaning towers, each bent 90 degrees at the top and bottom to form a continuous loop.

The engineer's solution is to create a structural "tube" of diagonal supports. The irregular pattern of this "diagrid" system reflects the distribution of forces across the tube's surface. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren and engineered by Ove Arup, the new CCTV tower rethinks what a skyscraper can be

Linked Hybrid, Beijing

Steven Holl Architects; Li Hu, lead architect. Groundbreaking on December 28, 2005 , scheduled for completion in 2008
Linked Hybrid, which will house 2,500 people in 700 apartments covering 1.6 million square feet, is a model for large-scale sustainable residential architecture. The site will feature one of the world's largest geothermal cooling and heating systems, which will stabilize the temperature within the complex of eight buildings, all linked at the 20th floor by a "ring" of service establishments, like cafés and dry cleaners. A set of dual pipes pumps water from 100 meters below ground, circulating the liquid b etween the buildings' concrete floors.

The result: The water-circulation system serves as a giant radiator in the winter and cooling system in the summer. It has no boilers to supply heat, no electric air conditioners to supply cool. The apartments also feature gray-water recycling -- a process that's just starting to catch on in Beijing in much smaller buildings -- to filter waste water from kitchen sinks and wash basins back into toilets.

Dongtan Eco City, Dongtan

Masterplan by Arup, for the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp. In planning stages, first phase to be completed in 2010
Developed by the Shanghai Industrial investment Corp., Dongtan Eco City , roughly the size of Manhattan , will be the world's first fully sustainable cosmopolis when completed in 2040. Like Manhattan , it's situated on an island -- the third-largest in China. Located on the Yangtze River , Dongtan is within close proximity of the bustle of Shanghai .

By the time the Shanghai Expo trade fair opens in 2010, the city's first phase should be completed, and 50,000 residents will call Dongtan home-sweet-sustainable-home. The goals to be accomplished in the next five years: systems for water purification, waste management, and renewable energy. An infrastructure of roads will connect the former agricultural land with Shanghai .

Olympic Stadium, Beijing

Herzog & de Meuron. Under construction, to be completed in 2008
Sports stadiums have long followed the enduring design of one of the original wonders of the world, Rome's Coliseum. Herzog & de Meuron's National Stadium in Beijing is an attempt to rethink the classic sports-arena layout for more ecologically correct times.

The Swiss architects (of Tate Modern fame) wanted to provide natural ventilation for the 91,000-seat structure -- perhaps the largest "eco-friendly" sports stadium designed to date. To achieve this, they set out to create a building that could function without a strictly enclosed shell, yet also provide constant shelter for the audience and athletes alike.

To solve these design problems, they looked to nature for inspiration. The stadium's outer grid resembles a bird's nest constructed of delicately placed branches and twigs. Each discrete space within the facility, from restrooms to restaurants, is constructed as an independent unit within the outer lattice -- making it possible to encase the entire complex with an open grid that allows for natural air circulation. The architects also incorporated a layer of translucent membrane to fill any gaps in the lacy exterior.

Donghai Bridge, Shanghai/Yangshan Island

China Zhongtie Major Bridge Engineering Group, Shanghai # 2 Engineering Co., Shanghai Urban Construction Group. Officially opened in December, 2005
A key phase in the development of the world's largest deep-sea port was completed when China 's first cross-sea bridge -- the 20-mile, six-lane Donghai Bridge -- was officially opened in December, 2005. Stretching across the East China Sea , the graceful cable-stay structure connects Shanghai to Yangshan Island , set to become China 's first free-trade port (and the world's largest container port) upon its completion in 2010.

To provide a safer driving route in the typhoons and high waves known to hit the region, Donghai Bridge is designed in an S-shape. The structure, reported by Shanghai Daily to have cost $1.2 billion, will hold its title of China's -- and one of the world's -- longest over-sea bridge for only a couple of years, though. In 2008, the nearby 22-mile Hangzhou Bay Transoceanic Bridge , which also begins (or ends, depending on your journey) in Shanghai , will earn the superlative.

National Grand Theater, Beijing

Paul Andreu and ADP. Under construction, to be completed in 2008
Located near Tiananmen Square , the 490,485-square-foot glass-and-titanium National Grand Theater, scheduled to open in 2008, seems to float above a man-made lake. Intended to stand out amid the Chinese capital's bustling streets and ancient buildings, the structure has garnered criticism among Bejing's citizens for clashing with classic landmarks like the Monument to the People's Heroes (dedicated to revolutionary martyrs), the vast home of the National People's Congress, or Tiananmen Gate itself (the Gate of Heavenly Peace).

French architec t Paul Andreu is no stranger to controversy -- or to innovative forms. A generation ago, in 1974, his untraditional design for Terminal 1 of Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport was criticized for its unusual curves, yet Andreu's groundbreaking, futuristic building later was seen to distinguish de Gaulle from more generic European and international air hubs. (The same airport's Terminal 2E, also designed by Andreu, gained attention in 2004 when it collapsed, tragically killing four people.)

Beijing's daring National Grand Theater is as much a spectacle as the productions that will be staged inside in the 2,416-seat opera house, the 2,017-seat concert hall, and the 1,040-seat theater. At night, the semi-transparent skin will give passersby a glimpse at the performance inside one of three auditoriums, a feature that highlights the building's public nature

Thursday, May 15, 2008

National Wildlife's 35th annual photo contest winners

MORE THAN 4,000 images were submitted during the past year to National Wildlife's 35th annual photo contest. Selected by the editors on the basis of originality and execution, the winners appear here.

National Wildlife's 35th annual photo contest winners

Kim Steininger
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
"I took this picture right before I ducked," says Steininger. On a bird-watching trip in Ontario, Canada, last winter, the network administrator noticed that one of the great gray owls she was photographing was staring back at her. "I didn't think anything of it until it started flying at me," she says. Before getting out of the way, Steininger captured this digital photo with a 500mm telephoto lens.

Victor S. Lamoureux
Vestal, New York
Lamoureux, a high school biology teacher, knows frogs. So when he went frog-watching with his son and niece at a nearby pond and spotted two male green frogs clinging to each other, he knew it was something unusual. "Then my son said, "Dad, Dad, look -there are three frogs" says Lamoureux. As it turned out, there actually were four: three males in a conga line behind one put-upon female. Lamoureux raced back to his house with the kids in tow, and returned to take this digital image with a 180mm macro lens.

Ray G. Foster
Salem, Oregon
Ducks, not hummingbirds, were on Foster's mind when he settled down behind a photo blind near a pond in southern Oregon. "I wasn't having any duck luck so I decided to focus on this hummingbird," says the paper mill worker. He used a 300mm lens to take this unusual photo of a rufous hummingbird collecting fibers from a cattail - presumably to build a nest.

Kevin Doxstater
Port Orange, Florida
While photographing water birds in Florida's Fort DeSoto Park, Doxstater spotted a long-billed curlew hundreds of feet away in the middle of a tidal marsh. Doxstater took off his socks and shoes and slowly waded into the marsh, making digital photos along the way using a 500mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. In the end, he was rewarded with this close-up shot of the curlew in the middle of a crab lunch.

Craig Hilton
Lakewood, Colorado
On a trip to Utah's Bear River, Hilton was surprised to see a pair of hungry American white pelicans herding several carp-bigger than the birds bills-into the shallows. Hilton captured the moment with a digital camera and a 200-400mm zoom lens. "What I love about the picture is the expression on the pelicans faces. You know they're having a good time," he says.

Hira Punjabi
Maharashtra, India
On a frigid winter morning at India's Tal Chappar animal sanctuary, Punjabi came upon two male blackbucks battling for dominance against a glowing backdrop of dust and light. The graceful animals, once overhunted, can now be seen in herds throughout India. Punjabi made the photograph with a 500mm telephoto lens.

Bill Yeaton
Dover, New Hampshire
Yeaton was working as a physician on a small cruise ship in Mexico's Sea of Corts when, at breakfast one morning, the passengers noticed that several dolphins were swimming alongside the boat. "Then more and more dolphins came up, until there were hundreds surrounding us," says Yeaton. He took this photo with a digital camera and a 28-300mm zoom lens.

James Shadle
Valrico, Florida
Last spring, Shadle headed to Tampa Bay to photograph a spoonbill rookery there. The salesman jumped out of his boat, lowered his tripod and, using a digital camera and a 600mm lens, photographed this roseate spoonbill just as it came in for a landing.

Christopher C. Barry
Huntington, West Virginia
Perched on a bright yellow lily, a Scudderia katydid nymph caught Barry's eye as he strolled through a Huntington public park. Using a digital camera with a 38-76mm zoom lens, Barry captured a close-up of the insect looking like it climbed the flower just to enjoy the view.

Joshua D. Henson
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
One night during a late-October camping trip in Yellowstone, Henson was driven out of his tent and into his car by the cold. The next morning, the freezing temperatures awoke the seasonal park ranger before dawn-just in time for him to capture this frosty, foggy field at sunrise. He used a 28-80mm lens to make the photo.

Adam Schallau
Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
Scouting for wildflowers near Crested Butte, Colorado, Schallau hit a gold mine: a field of mules ear against a backdrop of the Anthracite Range and a glorious sunset. To capture the golden moment, the retail account manager used a 12-24mm zoom lens and a tripod to hold his digital camera steady for the quarter-second exposure.

Edsel L. Romero
Cavite, Philippines
While visiting Singapore Botanic Gardens in July 2004, Romero spotted two pairs of mating daylight-flying moths on a single blade of grass. To take the digital photo, the computer programmer lay flat on the ground, inches away from the brightly patterned moths, and used a 180mm macro lens.

Robert M. Palmer
Milliken, Colorado
A young swift fox makes a dash for its den, a kangaroo rat clenched tightly in its teeth. Earlier this year, Palmer stumbled upon the kits mother and followed her back to her den in eastern Colorado-a rare find, since swift foxes have vanished from 90 percent of their historic range in the United States. Over the next month or so, Palmer, a product manager, returned often to the site, taking hundreds of photos of the young fox family. "Once they got used to having me there, they acted like I was part of the family," he says. Palmer made this digital photo with a 500mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter.

Jerry Horowitz
Marlboro, New Jersey
Horowitz photographed this brown bear on Alaska's Kodiak Island. The retiree used a 70-200mm zoom lens.

Nick J. Dunlop
Sebastopol, California
Dunlop photographed this belted kingfisher near his home. The real estate appraiser used a 600mm lens and 1.4x teleconverter.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Inside the Pyramid!

There has been always mystery about the pyramid, how did they build up. It is almost impossible to build such huge structure by using latest technology and world's largest crane. Take a closer look inside the pyramid. You will be amazed to see the mixture of art and engineering inside it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

विधवा विवाह

आज छुट्टै विषयमा यहाँ चर्चा गर्न लागेको छु । यो लेख केही समय अघिको कान्तिपुरबाट साभार गरिएको हो । मेरो ब्लगको उद्देश्य मनोरंजनात्मक लेखहरु हुन तर यो मन छुने लेख पढे पछि आफुलाई थाम्न सकिन । मेरो ब्लगको शिर्ष स्थानमा रहेको गितको समेत यसमा चर्चा भएकोले पनि यहाँ प्रस्तुत गर्न मन लाग्यो ।

बाधा अड्चन फुकाई प्रिय
टीका, चुरा, शृङ्गार सजाई
गुलावझैं बनी प्रिय
काँडा बीच पनि जीउन सिक्नु
हिंड्दै जाँदा भावनालाई बुझ्ने
हितकारी मान्छे भेटे निसंकोच नाता जोड्नु ।
मलाई भोलि केही भए......

आफ्नो मृत्युको कल्पना गरेर कुन श्रीमानले श्रीमतीलाई यसो भन्लान् - अचम्म नमान्नुस्, सञ्चारकर्मी दिपेन (दीपेन्द्र) श्रेष्ठले श्रीमतीलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै यो गीत लेखेका हुन् । उनका शब्दमा भावुक स्वर भरेका छन् गायक कर्णदासले । एकल महिलाले रातो पहिरन लगाएको देख्दा जिब्रो टोक्नेहरू उनीहरूको पुनः विवाहका लागि सजिलै तयार होलान् - हुँदैनन्, त्यसका लागि निरन्तर संर्घष गर्नुपर्छ उनीहरूले ।

एकल महिलामा रातो पहिरनले के प्रभाव पार्ला - आउनुहोस् यो प्रश्न सोधौं मानव अधिकारका लागि महिला, एकल महिला समूह कास्कीकी सचिव प्रमिला तझ्यालाई । उनी भन्छिन्- 'पति वियोगमा परेकीलाई रङ्गबाट वञ्चित गरिनु दोस्रो वियोग हो । तर, रङ्गभेद नहुँदा आत्मविश्वास बढेको छ ।'

सफल हुन रातो रङ्ग लगाउनै पर्छ भन्ने छैन । लगाउन पाएर नलगाउनु र लगाउन नपाएर नलगाउनुमा धेरै फरक छ । रातो रङ्ग त सबैले बच्चैदेखि लगाए । सिन्दुर पनि बेलसँग विवाह गर्दै लगाएकी थिइन् प्रमिलाले बेलको मृत्यु भएको छैन । श्रीमानको मृत्युपछि उनले सिन्दुरमात्रै होइन सम्पर्ण शृङ्गार र जन्मजात पाएको रातो रङ्ग समेत त्याग्नुपर्‍यो । तर समयसँगको कठोर संर्घषमा खारिएकी छन् उनी ।

०६१ चैतमा पोखराका सयभन्दा बढी एकल महिलालाई सामुदायिक सचेतना समाजले आफन्तको हातबाट रातो लगाइदिने अभियान चलायो । एकल महिलालाई यो सांस्कृतिक क्रान्तिले आत्मविश्वास बढायो । जुना केसीलाई पनि सुनौंन- 'रातो लगाउनु अर्को विवाह गरेको पहिचान होइन रंगभेदका कारण शुभकार्यमा वञ्चित गरिने विभेद हटाउन हो, धक फुकाएर आफूले रोजेको रङ्ग लगाउन पाउदा आफूलाई कमजोर नभएको र सुरक्षित भएको महसुस भएको छ ।' स्याङ्ग्जाकी देवी थापासँग रातो पहिरनले दृष्टिकोणमा बराबर देखाउने अनुभव छ ।

सरोजगोपाल बज्राचार्यको गीत 'रातो रिबनमा कहिल्यै धोको पुगेन जीवनमा' गुनगुनाउँदै बाल्यकालमा रातो रिबनले दुइ चुल्ठा बाट्थिन् रे प्रमिला । भन्छिन्- 'बच्चामा रातो रहरले लगाए, विवाहपछि लगाउनपर्छ भन्ने बुझेर लगाए, अहिले अभाव पूर्ति गर्न लगाउँदैछु ।' रातो रङ्गको सहायताले प्रमिलाजस्ता एकल महिलाले जीवनमा परिवर्तन महसुस गरेका छन् । तनहुँकी संगीता श्रेष्ठ पनि फेरिएकी छन् । 'खाली रुन मन लाग्ने केही गर्न सक्दिन जस्तो हुन्थ्यो,' उनले भनिन्- 'रातो लगाउँदा आत्मविश्वास बढेको छ काम गरेर बाँच्न सक्ने भएकी छु ।'

मृत्युदर्ता गरेर नाता प्रमाणित गर्न जाँदा जिल्ला प्रशासन कार्यालय कास्कीका प्रशासन अधिकृतले श्रीमान बितेको ४५ दिनका दिन चुरापोते लगाएको फोटो हुँदैन विधवाको भेषमा अर्को फोटो खिचेर आउन पठाएको क्षण बिर्सेकी छैनन् प्रमिलाले । हिजोआज कतिपय एकल महिला श्रीमान भएका महिलाभन्दा बढी आत्मनिर्भर र स्वावलम्बी जीवन बिताइरहेका छन् । तर अझै आवश्यक छ सामाजिक क्रान्ति र दृष्टिकोणको ।

लोकतान्त्रिक आन्दोलनका साथी भीमसेन दाहालको मृत्युलाई नजिकबाट नियालेका सञ्चारकर्मी दिपेनले आफ्नी श्रीमतीकी साथी सविता दाहाललाई सम्झेर उक्त गीत लेखेका रहेछन् । भन्छन्- 'भाषणले हुनेवाला केही छैन, यिनीहरूको हौसला बढाउन सकियो भने संसार बदल्न सकिन्छ ।'

हेरौं अब कति एकल महिलाले रहर गर्छन् र कति हितकारी युवाले हिम्मत निकाल्न सक्लान् विवाह गर्न । आठ वर्ष पहिले एकल बनेर पुनः विवाह गरेकी थिइन् चितवनकी नीला गिरीले । उनी अठार वर्षकी छँदा श्रीमानको मृत्यु भयो । तेइस वर्षकी हुँदा माइती (तनहुँ) र घरपरिवार (पोखरा) को सहमतिमा उनले पुनः बिहे गरिन् चितवनको केटासँग । दुइ छोरा र श्रीमानका साथ चितवनमा बसेकी नीला भन्छिन्- 'उमेर छ र आफूलाई चाहने र आफूले पनि चाहने भेटे पाइला चाल्दा हुन्छ ।'

'छोरी मरे १३ दिनभित्रै ज्वाँईंलाई अर्की छोरी दिन तयार हुने बाबुआमा ज्वाँईं मरेपछि छोरीलाई अर्को ज्वाँईं खोज्ने शब्द उच्चारण गर्नसम्म किन डराउँछन् ?' प्रमिलाको सुक्ष्म प्रश्नको मसँग जवाफ छैन ।

- वसन्ती बास्तोला

Monday, May 5, 2008

NM & CO visit!

We went to visit one of our friend in Los Alamos, New Mexico on Thanks Giving weekend of last year. We had very pleasant experience on next day while driving to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The weather was pretty, we went to Colorado Spring other day. It was fun driving. Someone suggest us to go to see the longest suspension bridge of USA while on the way back. But we were late, or may be closed on Thanks Giving day. Anyway we missed it. We are on the way back to Los Alamos, I tried to take a shortcut instead of Highway. My gas was low, town was not nearby, and also jungle on the both side of the road make me thrilled and kind of scary. There was not much traffic on the road, almost empty. Before 30-40 miles to Los Alamos snow start falling. None of us expected snowing weather. It was dark, with low traffic on the country side road. I never drove on the snow, I was scared so as others too; but I tried to calm down. I drove very slow in 1st gear. It took me almost 3 hrs to reach my destination.

Next day I changed my plan to head back home. Because there was more snow predicted on later that day. So, we said goodbye to our friend and headed home. It was snowing while we hit the road, still frighten. A lot of traffic make me felt little comfortable, so I can drive on the track. But you never know. We took a long breath when we were near by our town where there was no sign of snowy weather. It took me almost 10 hrs driving back on 7 hrs route,luckily we came back safe. Our New Mexico and Colorado visit was quite Adventurous for us.

Thursday, May 1, 2008