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Breathtaking Oasis

Breathtaking Oasis!

An Oasis is a fertile, watered spot in a desert. 

Breathtaking Oasis!

Check out these breathtaking Oases, which are probably the most beautiful Oases in the world!

Ubari Oasis (Libya)

Ubari Oasis (Libya)

Ubari is an oasis city in South-Western Libya, in the Targa valley. It lies between the Messak Sattafat plateau and Idhan Ubari sand dunes and lakes. The oasis is the second centre after Ghat for Kel AjjerTuareg. Neighbouring villages include Germa, and In Garran. The water is salted like the dead sea, but swimming into it is rather not a good idea as it is very dirty.

Huacachina (Peru)

Shimmering beneath the scorching sun of the Peruvian desert is an extraordinary sight – a tiny settlement, complete with lagoon, lush palm groves, carob trees, cafes, neatly clipped lawns, 100-strong population and even the odd swimming pool.

Huacachina Peru

Huacachina Peru

For thousands of years, Huacachina, otherwise known as the ‘oasis of Americas’ – there is only one – has been a beacon of green, hidden deep amid hundreds of miles of barren desert. Huacachina serves as a resort for local families from the nearby city of Ica, and increasingly as an attraction for tourists drawn by the sport of sandboarding on sand dunes that stretch several hundred feet high.

Huacachina Oasis Peru

Huacachina Oasis Peru

Ein Gedi (Israel)

Ein Gedi (Israel)

En Gedi is the largest oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The springs here have allowed nearly continuous inhabitation of the site since the Chalcolithic period. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, and was famous in the time of Solomon (Josh 15:62). Today the Israeli kibbutz of En Gedi sits along the southern bank of the Nahal Arugot.

Chebika Oasis (Tunisia)

Chebika Oasis (Tunisia)

Chebika belongs to the collection of unlikely desert oases of the mountains north of the great Tunisian chotts. Least famous, Chebika offers perhaps the most effective and dramatic experience among them. Where the mountains rise, Chebika lies. Most of the year it is so exposed to the sun that it once was known as Qasr el-Shams, Castle of the Sun.

Timia Oasis (Niger)

Timia Oasis (Niger)

Timia Oasis, located on the Aïr Mountains (northern Niger), is billed as the most beautiful oasis in the country for a reason. It is not quite the image of a pool of water amidst the sand-dunes with a couple of palm-trees on either side. Instead it is a rich network of lush gardens in the middle of some of the most hostile terrain on earth- as true an oasis as you’ll ever find. Oranges and pomegranates hang from branches and can be plucked (for a fee) and eaten on the spot. Date palms and citrus trees, and beneath the cool of the spreading leaves, any number of herbs, cereals and garden vegetables are grown. The Tuareg who tend the gardens export their produce all over the Aïr region- indeed in some cases all over Niger. After the searing heat of the Sahara, the Timia Oasis is the perfect rest-stop for a group of travellers, and time is well spent exploring the refreshing shade of the carefully-groomed orchards.

Herðubreiðarlindir (Iceland)

Herðubreiðarlindir (Iceland)

On Herðubreið, situated in the Highlands of Iceland in the midst of the desert of Ódáðahraun –a very big lava field originating from eruptions of the volcano Trölladyngja–, lies an oasis called Herðubreiðarlindir with a camp ground and famous hiking trails. In former times, outcasts lived there who had been excluded from Icelandic society because of crimes they had committed.

Gaberoun (Libya)

Gaberoun (Libya)

Gaberoun is an oasis with a large lake located in the municipality Sabha in the Libyan Sahara. The old Bedouin settlement by the western shore of the lake has been abandoned, and now lays in ruins. A rudimentary tourist camp is located on the northeastern shore, including an open patio, sleeping huts, and a souvenir shop (attended by a touareg in full costume) in the winter.

The lake is very salty, swimming can be pleasant despite the salt water crustaceans. Mosquitoes are abundant, especially in the summer. October to May is considered the best time to visit as the climate is milder.

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April 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Events of the day

Czech commemorative medals featuring US President Barack Obama, 31 March 2009

Commemorative medals featuring US President Barack Obama are seen in the Czech city of Jablonec nad Nisou ahead of a visit by Mr Obama on 4 April.

Rachel Devlyn outside Dublin's Gaiety Theatre, Ireland, 31 March 2009

Dublin dancer Rachel Devlyn poses outside the Gaiety Theatre in the Irish republic’s capital for the launch of a gay theatre festival.

An Iraqi investor uses his binoculars to look at the dealing board at the Iraq Stock Exchange in Baghdad on 31 March, 2009

An Iraqi investor peers at the dealing board at Baghdad’s Iraq Stock Exchange, which has announced it is to introduce a computerised system to show share prices.

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Indian President Pratibha Patil presents the Padma Shri award to actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

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Mausam Noor during an election campaign at Habibpur in her North Malda constituency

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is welcomed by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen as she arrives at the World Forum Conference Centre in The Hague.

A man wears a brain-machine interface

A man wears a brain-machine interface, equipped with electroencephalogra phy (EEG) devices and near-infrared spectroscope (NIRS) optical sensors in a special headgear to measure slight electrical current and blood flow change in the brain at Japanese auto giant Honda’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Honda and Japan’s research laboratory ATR have announced the development of a humanoid robot, Asimo, that can move its hands and legs after receiving brain activity signals from a human.

A bison looks for something to eat in blowing snow

A bison looks for something to eat in blowing snow at the Terry Bison Ranch south of Cheyenne. Parts of Wyoming were battered by a second snowstorm last week.


April 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Road to Death

Road to Death #2

This is part 2 of the series. The previous one is here – Issue #1

Crazy Routes in Andes, Albania New Zealand

Necessity may dictate that you choose the “road less traveled”, but for goodness sake, leave weaker-nerved passengers behind. They might experience life-changing (and underwear-changing) circumstances that they will never forget, or forgive.

One of the Chinese military roads to “boost the morale of their troops” –

and here is how they navigate it:

Tirana to Elbasan Road in Albania

This is a hairy route, very high, badly maintained with high volume of heavy truck traffic – count on these Albanian drivers to be dare-devils, too. Whatever pictures we could get, look pretty serious:

The cool thing about this road is that it leads to various interesting “rabbit trails” with ancient ruins at the end:


some of the bridges there look pretty ancient too, and require some extra faith that they’ll hold:

The Skippers Canyon Road near Queenstown:
Katie Laurence writes to us:
“This road is made from a very narrow cut in the middle of a sheer cliff face. The large tourist buses go along it, and it’s so narrow that if two vehicles have to pass each other, one vehicle might have to reverse for anything up to 3 kilometres of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass. It is the SCARIEST road you could imagine…”
A few aerial shots first:


(image credit: David Wall Photography)
and this is how it looks close up, with sheer drops just outside the single lane (with almost not enough space for tires) –


(images credit: beez kneez)

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Some other bad road predicaments:
This road in Sahara is totally beset by drifting dunes: they change location and are hard to get rid of, considering the desert is all around it:

Potholes from hell:



(image credit: Roussos)
This is pretty extreme, I’d say:

Stelvio Pass Road – redefining switchbacks – A Scenic yet Dangerous Road!
Height – 2757 meters
Location – in the Italian Alps, near Bormio and Sulden, 75 km from Bolzano, close to Swiss border. (The road connects the Valtellina with the upper Adige valley and Merano)
Claim to fame – “the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps, after the Col de l’Iseran (2770 m)”

The Pulpit Rock Hike – if you fall, it’s 1000 meters down
This place is indeed so spectacular, that we are going to write a special post about it. For now, just to give you a taste of some scenery – a few shots of people definitely having fun (not forgetting thousand-meter drops at every turn)

(image credit: Globosapiens)

(image credit: Susi Varming)

We finish with a scenario which might not have a happy ending.


April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Top 5 World’s Most Amazing Islands

Top 5 World’s Most Amazing Islands

Check out these interesting Islands, very interesting info! Includes the Alcatraz Island, Easter Island, Sealand, Surtsey the Gunkanjima!

Top 5 World's Most Amazing Islands

5. ALCATRAZ ISLAND (USA): home to the first lighthouse on the Pacific Coast

AmazingIslands

Alcatraz Island (sometimes informally referred to as simply Alcatraz or by its pop-culture name, The Rock) is a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California, United States. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963, when it became a national recreation area. The first European to discover the island was Juan de Ayala in 1775, who charted the San Francisco Bay and named the island “La Isla de los Alcatraces”, which means “Island of the Pelicans”.

AmazingIslands
The discovery of gold in California in 1848 brought thousands of ships to San Francisco Bay, creating an urgent need for a navigational lighthouse. In response, Alcatraz lighthouse #1 was erected and lit in the summer of 1853. Because of its natural isolation in the middle of a bay, surrounded by cold water and strong sea currents, Alcatraz was soon considered by the U.S. Army as an ideal location for holding captives. Alcatraz was the Army’s first long-term prison, and it was already beginning to build its reputation as a tough detention facility by exposing inmates to harsh conditions and iron fisted discipline. Due to rising operational costs because of its location, the Military Department decided to close this famous prison in 1934, and it was subsequently taken over by the Department of Justice and later became the famous federal prision and finally a recreation area.

AmazingIslands

4. EASTER ISLAND (Polynesian triangle, Chile): world heritage site and one of the most isolated inhabited islands in history

AmazingIslands

Easter Island is one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands. It is 3,600 km (2,237 miles) west of continental Chile and 2,075 km (1,290 miles) east of Pitcairn. Nowdays, it is a Chilean-governed island, and is a world heritage site with much of the island protected by the Rapa Nui National Park.

AmazingIslands
First settled by a small party of Polynesians, Easter Island is one of the youngest inhabited territories on Earth, and for most of its history it was the most isolated inhabited territory on Earth. Its inhabitants the Rapanui have endured famines, epidemics, civil war, slave raids and colonialism; have seen their population crash on more than one occasion, and created a cultural legacy that has brought them fame out of all proportion to their numbers.

AmazingIslands

3. SEALAND (Principality) : World’s smallest island

AmazingIslands

The Principality of Sealand is an island and a micronation located on HM Fort Roughs, a former Maunsell Sea Fort located in the North Sea 10 km (six miles) off the coast of Suffolk, England, in what is claimed as territorial waters using a twelve-nautical- mile radius.

AmazingIslands

Since 1967, the installation has been occupied by associates and family of Paddy Roy Bates, a former radio broadcaster and former British Army Major, who claims that it is a sovereign and independent state. Critics, as well as court rulings in the United States and in Germany, have claimed that Roughs Tower has always remained the property of the United Kingdom, a view that is disputed by the Bates family. The population of the facility rarely exceeds ten, and its habitable area is 550 m2 (5920 sq ft).
Sealand’s claims to sovereignty and legitimacy are not recognised by any country, yet it is sometimes cited in debates as an interesting case study of how various principles of international law can be applied to a territorial dispute.

AmazingIslands

2. SURTSEY (Iceland): The emerging island

AmazingIslands

Off the coast of Iceland on the morning of 14 November 1963, the crew of a lone fishing trawler spotted an alarming sight. Off to the southwest of the Ísleifur II, a column of dark smoke was rising from the water. Concerned that it could be another boat on fire, the captain directed his vessel towards the scene. Once there, however, they found not a boat but a series of violent explosions producing ash. This was an unmistakable indication of a volcanic eruption taking place underwater, close to the surface. Very aware of the potential danger but eager to watch, the crew kept their boat nearby. It was indeed a remarkable event that they would witness a small part of over the course of that morning: the formation of a brand-new island.

AmazingIslands
Although now quite visible, the eruption lasted for much, much longer than the Ísleifur II would have been able to watch. After several days, the volcano had broken the water’s surface, forming an island over 500 meters long and 45 meters tall. Even though the rough tides of the North Atlantic might have soon eroded the new island away, it was named Surtsey, meaning ‘Surtur’s island’ – Surtur (or Surtr) being a fire giant of Norse mythology. The island proved to be tenacious, however. The eruption was ongoing and Surtsey increased in size more quickly than the ocean could wear it down. In the meantime two other nearby volcanic eruptions produced the beginnings of islands, but neither lasted very long. By April 1964, though, the most violent parts of the eruption were over and Surtsey remained.

AmazingIslands

1. GUNKANJIMA (Japan): the Ghost (and forbidden) Island

AmazingIslands

Gunkanjima is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island’s most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it. It is known for its coal mines and their operation during the industrialization of Japan. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan’s first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers, and to protect against typhoon destruction.

AmazingIslands

Gunkanjima is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island’s most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it. It is known for its coal mines and their operation during the industrialization of Japan. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan’s first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers, and to protect against typhoon destruction.
In 1959, its population density was 835 people per hectare for the whole island, or 1,391 per hectare for the residential district, one of the highest population density ever recorded worldwide. As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare, which is why it’s called the Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima is currently prohibited.

AmazingIslands


April 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Amazing Shipping Container Houses

Container City

Invented more than five decades ago, the modern shipping container is the linchpin in our global distribution network of products. In the containers go toys from China, textiles from India, grain from America, and cars fromGermany. In go electronics, chocolate, and cheese.

While a number of resourceful people have converted shipping containers into make-shift shelters at the margin of society for years, architects and green designers are also increasingly turning to the strong, cheap boxes as source building blocks.

Shipping containers can be readily modified with a range of creature comforts and can be connected and stacked to create modular, efficient spaces for a fraction of the cost, labor, and resources of more conventional materials.

Discover some of the exciting possibilities of shipping container architecture, from disaster relief shelters to luxury condos, vacation homes, and off-the-grid adventurers. See what makes them green as well as cutting edge.

Redondo Beach House
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

De Maria Design Redondo Beach House

With its modern lines and appealing spaces, the award-winning Redondo Beach House by De Maria Design turns heads. The luxury beach-side showpiece was built from eight prefabricated, recycled steel shipping containers, along with some traditional building materials. According to the architects, the modified containers are “nearly indestructible, ” as well as resistant to mold, fire, and termites. Seventy percent of the building was efficiently assembled in a shop, saving time, money, and resources.

One of the containers can even sport a pool! The lessons learned from Redondo Beach House are being incorporated into a line of more affordable, accessible designs, soon available as Logical Homes.

London's Container City
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

London’s Container City

Conceived by Urban Space Management, London’s Container City first sprang up in the heart of the Docklands in 2001. It took just five months to complete the original 12 work studios, at a height of three stories. Shortly after that a fourth floor of studios and living apartments was added.

Container City was designed to be low cost, as well as environmentally friendly. Recycled materials made up 80% of building supplies. Architect Nicholas Lacey and partners and engineer Buro Happold used component pieces to build up adaptable living and work spaces.

Container City II
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

Container City II

Container City I was a success, and in2002, Urban Space Management added an addition, dubbed Container City II. Reaching five stories high, Container City II is connected to its earlier iteration via walkways. It also boasts an elevator and full disabled access, as well as 22 studios.

Port-a-Bach
(Photo: Paul McCredie)

Port-a-Bach

Need some flexibility with security? Need a temporary structure or small vacation home? Going off the grid? The Port-a-Bach system from New Zealand’s Atelier Workshop might be a good fit.

Costing around $55,000, Port-a-Bach sleeps two adults and two children comfortably, in a dwelling that folds up into a fully enclosed steel shell. It comes with large internal storage cupboards and shelves; a stainless steel kitchen; bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet; bunk beds and dressing room. Fabric screens allow you to shape internal space, as well as shelter the outdoor deck area.

Bach (pronounced Batch) is Kiwi slang for “Bachelor Pad,” and refers to the many small cabins that dot the famously picturesque country.

Cove Park Artists' Retreat
(Photo: Urban Space Management)

Cove Park Artists’ Retreat

Set on 50 acres of gorgeous Scottish countryside, Cove Park is an artist’s retreat designed to stimulate and reinvigorate. Urban Space Management first brought in three repurposed shipping containers in 2001, and the center became so popular that more units have been added.

Doesn’t look like your average shipping box, does it?

All Terrain Cabin
(Photo: Bark Design Collective)

All Terrain Cabin

Canada’s Bark Design Collective built the All Terrain Cabin (ATC) as a showcase for sustainable (and Canadian!) ingenuity. The small home is based on a standard shipping container, and is said to be suitable for a family of four, plus a pet, to live off the grid in comfort and style.

The cabin folds up to look like any old shipping container, and can be sent via rail, truck, ship, airplane, or even helicopter. When you’re ready to rest your bones, the cabin quickly unfolds to 480 square feet of living space, with a range of creature comforts.

The Ecopod
(Photo: Courtesy of Ecopod)

The Ecopod

Another container home designed for on- or off-grid living is the Ecopod. Made from a shipping container, an electric winch is used to raise and lower the heavy deck door (power is supplied by a solar panel). The floor is made from recycled car tires, and the walls have birch paneling (over closed-cell soya foam insulation). The glass is double paned to slow heat transfer.

The Ecopod can be used as a stand alone unit or with other structures. It is designed to minimize environmental impact.

Adam Kalkin Quik House
(Photo: Quik House )

Adam Kalkin Quik House

Want your own container house? There’s a six-month waiting list for the Quik House by architect Adam Kalkin, who is based in New Jersey. The distinctive Quik House comes in a prefabricated kit, based on recycled shipping containers (in fact a completed house is about 75% recycled materials by weight).

The standard Quik House offers 2,000 square feet, three bedrooms and two and one-half baths, though larger options are also available. The shell assembles within just one day, and all the interior details can be finished within about three months.

The Quik House comes in two colors (orange or natural rust bloom), and the estimated total cost, including shipping and assembly, is $184,000. You can add even greener options such as solar panels, wind turbines, a green roof, and additional insulation (to R-50).

LiNX Temporary Structures
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr )

LiNX Temporary Structures

Dublin-based designer Richard Barnwall envisioned this design, dubbed theLiNX, as a temporary structure for construction workers. The two-storey model pictured is to be comprised of four 20-foot containers. Such designs offer flexibility and rapid deployment, and may even work for more permanent homes.

Ross Stevens House
(Photo: Ross Stevens / Flickr )

Ross Stevens House

Industrial designer Ross Stevens built this distinctive house inWellington, New Zealand. Repurposed shipping containers form an intriguing contrast to the surrounding hill. In fact, the unique home makes use of the hill itself, expanding interior space beyond the containers.

Parts of the Ross Stevens house are surprisingly spacious and comfortable. There’s even a cool table made from a repurposed door.

Student Housing Project Keetwonen, Amsterdam
(Photo: Kool-Kini / Flickr)

Student Housing Project Keetwonen, Amsterdam

Billed as the largest container city in the world, Amsterdam’s massiveKeetwonen complex houses 1,000 students, many of whom are happy to secure housing in the city’s tight real estate market. Designed by Tempo Housing in 2006, Keetwonen is said to be a roaring success, with units that are well insulated, surprisingly quiet and comfortable.

Each resident enjoys a balcony, bathroom, kitchen, separate sleeping and studying rooms, and large windows. The complex has central heating and high speed Internet, as well as dedicated bike parking.

Keetwonen has proved so popular that its lease has been extended until at least 2016.

Site-Specific Exhibition
(Photo: Site-Specific )

Site-Specific Exhibition

Site-Specific and Buatalah Studio were asked to design a green building exhibition for Baan Lae Suan Fair in Bangkok. They came up with a design for a family of three, made out of four reused shipping containers and prefabricated modules. The home reuses graywater and incorporates spaces for growing food.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unusual Weather Phenomena – Amazing

Moon Bows – A rainbow is caused by the Sun shining on moisture droplets, most commonly in a post-rain atmosphere. A moon bow is much rarer, only seen at night when the moon is low and full to almost full. One popular place to see moon bows is at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky,


Mirages – Mirages occur when light is refracted to produce an image of an object or the sky where it is not. It is most commonly seen on hot surfaces, such as the pavement or a desert.

Haloes – Like rainbows, haloes are formed around the Sun due to moisture (in this case ice crystals) being refracted from the Sun’s rays in the upper atmosphere. Sometimes two or more areas of the circle or arcs surrounding the Sun will be brighter, forming what are called Sun Dogs. Haloes can also form around the Moon, and occasionally around the brighter stars and planets like Venus.

Belt of Venus – The belt of Venus is a phenomenon that occurs during dusty evenings when a band of pinkish or brownish sky will appear between the sky and the horizon


Noctilucent Clouds – Noctilucent clouds are atmospherically high clouds that refract light at dusk when the Sun has already set, illuminating the sky with no seeming light source.

Aurora Borealis – Also known in the southern hemisphere as the Aurora Australis, the Aurora Borealis are charged particles from the Sun that have reached the Earth’s upper atmosphere and become excited. They are more typically seen closer to the poles and during the equinoxes of the year.

Coloured Moon – Due to different atmospheric issues, the moon will occasionally appear tinged with a color, such as blue, orange, or red. Excess smoke, dust, and eclipses can cause the moon to change color.


Mammatus Clouds – These odd-shaped clouds are often associated with a storm front, especially one involving a thunderstorm. It’s not completely understood how they form


Pyrocumulus Clouds – Another heat related phenomenon, pyrocumulus clouds form from the fast and intense heating of an area to create convecture, which in turn creates a cumulous cloud. Volcanoes, forest fires, and nuclear explosion (in the form of a mushroom cloud) are all prime causes of pyrocumulus clouds.

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Fire Rainbow – A fire rainbow is an extremely rare phenomenon that occurs only when the sun is high allowing its light to pass through high-altitude cirrus clouds with a high content of ice crystals.

Green Ray – Also known as the Green Flash. This occurs very briefly before total sunset and after sunrise. It appears as a green flash above the sun that lasts very briefly, generally only a few moments. It is caused by refraction of light in the atmosphere.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

pictures Earth Hour

WWF hopes this public support will convince governments across the world to agree to take effective action to tackle climate change, when they meet at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: “WWF’s Earth Hour promises to be the biggest show of support ever for action on climate change.

“By signing up to switch their lights off, millions of people will be showing world leaders that they care about tackling climate change.

“This is a simple way for people to show their support for strong action on climate change.”

THIS IS OUR ONE AND ONLY PLANET. OUR HOME:
https://i1.wp.com/www.townofbeloit.org/earth.gif
What does WWF stand for?
WWF originally stood for “World Wildlife Fund”. However, in 1986, WWF had come to realize that its name no longer reflected the scope of its activities, and changed its name to “World Wide Fund For Nature”. The United States and Canada, however, retained the old name.
The resulting confusion caused by the name change in 1986, together with its translation into more than 15 languages, led the WWF Network in 2001 to agree on using the original acronym as its one, global name – the acronym that it had always been known by since its inception way back in 1961: “WWF”.
What is WWF’s mission?
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world’s biological diversityensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainablepromotin g the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.https://i0.wp.com/liveearth.org/liveearth/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/earth-hour.jpg
In pictures: Earth Hour https://i0.wp.com/blog.enterpriseitplanet.com/green/blog/blogpost_img/canberra_earth_hour.jpg

Skyline of Sydney, Australia

More than 3,400 cities worldwide are taking part in Earth Hour, turning off their lights for one hour at 2030 local time in protest against climate change.

New Zealand parliament building, Wellington

New Zealand was one of the first countries to take part, with government buildings switching off all but the most essential lighting.

Concert in Auckland Civic Square, New Zealand - photo Earth Hour

In Auckland, the country’s biggest city, revellers turned the event into a celebration with a candlelit concert.

Candles in Fiji - Photo Earth Hour

People in Fiji marked the 60 minutes of Earth Hour with candles.

Sydney's Luna Park

Large parts of Sydney, Australia, home to the first Earth Hour two years ago, went dark.

Melbourne skyline - Photo Earth Hour

Campaigners aim to create a huge wave of public pressure to force a new climate change treaty. Melbourne was one of hundreds of Australian municipalities taking part.

Bird's Nest stadium, Beijing - photo Earth Hour

The normally glittering Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing looked distinctly grey.

Bank of China, HSBC building and others in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s financial district was plunged into near darkness.

Parliament lit as usual (left) and an unlit Parliament during Earth Hour

And in London, the Houses of Parliament, as well as the London Eye, Canary Wharf, the Gherkin and the BT Tower, switched their lights off.

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An Indonesian family sits near candles as lights are turned off during a candlelight vigil marking Earth Hour at the main business district in Jakarta, Indonesia.


March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY – REMARKABLE.


The Statue of Liberty Under Construction – Remarkable Photographs
The New York Public Library has recently unveiled some extraordinary pictures of the Statue of Liberty under construction. Take a trip back in time and see extraordinary behind the scenes images of the creation of this superlative structure.

A giant is formed. The sheer scale of the statue under construction can be seen here, in contrast to the workmen posing woodenly for that fairly new invention, the camera.. The more formal name for the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World and it is constructed with sheets of pure copper, even though the picture makes it look something like marble. It is something of a miracle that we now have the finished product standing proudly on Liberty Island. Had it not been for the contributions of ordinary French and Americans then she would never have arisen in the first instance.

Such is the immensity of the statue one can only wonder whether or not the workmen pictured above had any idea which part of the statue they were working on at any one time. The photographer Albert Fernique, who captured these pictures around 1883, must have been in a certain awe at the immensity of the statue and his images capture its sheer scale and size beautifully. The French had decided to give the United States of America something for their centennial independence celebrations that the Americans and the world would never forget. The process of building was painstaking, slow and fraught with financial difficulties. The copper ?shell’ was only what the public would see. What lies beneath – both in terms of its structure and the story behind its *****ion – is almost as startling

Officials survey the workshop – models of statues can just be seen in the background. While they probably had an idea that their statue would become an icon of freedom the world over, the French politicians of the day had some rather more down to earth reasons for gifting the immense sculpture to the States. French politics. Perhaps for this reason the source of the copper has never been revealed. The rumor had always been that the copper was of Norwegian origin, from a village called Visnes, rather than a French source. In 1985 Bell Labs confirmed that this was fairly likely to be true.

At the time France was in political turmoil and, although at the time under their third republic, many people looked back at the time of Napoleon and the monarchy before that with fondness and wanted its return. The desire for a backwards step to authoritarianism was worrying. French politicians – as wily then as now – saw Lady Liberty as a way, albeit phenomenally huge, to focus the public’s imagination on republicanism as the best way forward. The USA and its centennial of independence from the yolk of England was the perfect focus.

The plaster surface of the left arm and its hand take shape, the skeleton underneath revealed. As there is a deal of work under the carapace, so the French politicians had ulterior motives. Using the USA – which many saw as the ideal of government and populist aspirational politics – the French used the statue as a Trojan Horse in reverse, as it were. Its true purpose, in the eyes of the political gift givers, was to make republicanism the center of political ideology in the minds of the people. How greatly it succeeded can never fully be quantified but the French cannot be faulted for thinking big. It must be said here that the ordinary French, through their substantial buying of lottery tickets (and other fundraising efforts) had a much purer purpose at heart than their politicians.
 
It must surely have been amazing for the workers to turn up each morning to the sight of a colossal head looking down upon them. The inspiration for the face seems to be the Roman god of the sun, Apollo or his Greek equivalent, Helios. More down to earth sources of inspiration center on the women in the life of the sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It may well have been Isabella Eugenie Boyer, a good looking and well-known figure in Paris at the time. More worrying, some believe the face of the statue actually belongs to Bartholdi’s mother. Bartholdi never revealed the true model of the face, but if this is the case Freud would have had a field day.

Bertholdi made a small scale model first, which is still displayed in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the city of the statue’s original construction, Paris. Before the statue was shipped to America, though, it had to be seen to be tested. If it had not been for money, it may never have landed in the states – particularly in the form we all know. On a visit to Egypt, Bartholdi’s vision of liberty expanded to its present proportions. Had his original idea received financial support, then whatever gift the French gave the Americans for the 1876 centennial could not possibly have been the statue.
 
Little by little, the statue arises. Bertholdi saw the Suez Canal under construction in the eighteen sixties and was inspired to build a giant figure at its entrance. He drew up plans which bore a remarkable similarity to what now stands on Liberty Island but his ideas were rejected by the Egyptian ruling body of the time because of the financial problems the country was facing at the time. Had the statue been built in Egypt as a lighthouse, the idea would never have been taken up for America. The Statue of Liberty as we know it was in fact used as a lighthouse, from its unveiling in 1886 right until 1902 – the very first in the world to use electricity.


Almost there! There were huge structural issues that had to be addressed in the design and construction of a sculpture of such enormity. Enter a certain Gustave Eiffel, who would later go on to build that eponymous tower which still dominates the skyline of Paris. It was his job (which he delegated to Maurice Koechlin, his favored structural engineer) to ensure that Liberty’s copper sheath could move while still remaining vertical. Koechlin created a huge pylon of wrought iron and the famous skeletal frame to ensure that the statue would not fall down in high winds.


Money was always a problem. The plan had been to get the statue to the US by the fourth of July, 1876. Only the right arm and torch were finished by then. However, as the Americans had taken responsibility for the construction of the pedestal, these pieces of the statue were displayed to the American pubic at the Centennial Exposition (in Philadelphia). Money raised by allowing people to climb this part of the statue (see here) started the funding efforts for the base of the statue. The French did their bit too, showing the head in their own exposition in 1878.

1886 must have been one of those years that people remembered for the rest of their lives. A statue of gigantic proportions, symbolizing the ideas and aspirations of America, was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland at Liberty Island (renamed from Bedloe’s Island or Love Island). In an ironic twist, President Cleveland had vetoed the New York legislature from contributing fifty thousand dollars to help with the building of the statue’s pedestal. Letting bygones be bygones, President Cleveland was more than happy to officiate at the ceremony. This had not been the only problem to face the statue in the years before its final unveiling, of course. From the model stage, above, to its triumphant moment of revelation, the process was fraught with difficulty – mostly of a financial nature. However, thanks to the efforts of both the American and French people we now have a permanent reminder of what we should hold dear – liberty still symbolically steps forth from her shackles to protect, shelter and enlighten.


March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY – REMARKABLE.


The Statue of Liberty Under Construction – Remarkable Photographs
The New York Public Library has recently unveiled some extraordinary pictures of the Statue of Liberty under construction. Take a trip back in time and see extraordinary behind the scenes images of the creation of this superlative structure.

A giant is formed. The sheer scale of the statue under construction can be seen here, in contrast to the workmen posing woodenly for that fairly new invention, the camera.. The more formal name for the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World and it is constructed with sheets of pure copper, even though the picture makes it look something like marble. It is something of a miracle that we now have the finished product standing proudly on Liberty Island. Had it not been for the contributions of ordinary French and Americans then she would never have arisen in the first instance.

Such is the immensity of the statue one can only wonder whether or not the workmen pictured above had any idea which part of the statue they were working on at any one time. The photographer Albert Fernique, who captured these pictures around 1883, must have been in a certain awe at the immensity of the statue and his images capture its sheer scale and size beautifully. The French had decided to give the United States of America something for their centennial independence celebrations that the Americans and the world would never forget. The process of building was painstaking, slow and fraught with financial difficulties. The copper ?shell’ was only what the public would see. What lies beneath – both in terms of its structure and the story behind its *****ion – is almost as startling

Officials survey the workshop – models of statues can just be seen in the background. While they probably had an idea that their statue would become an icon of freedom the world over, the French politicians of the day had some rather more down to earth reasons for gifting the immense sculpture to the States. French politics. Perhaps for this reason the source of the copper has never been revealed. The rumor had always been that the copper was of Norwegian origin, from a village called Visnes, rather than a French source. In 1985 Bell Labs confirmed that this was fairly likely to be true.

At the time France was in political turmoil and, although at the time under their third republic, many people looked back at the time of Napoleon and the monarchy before that with fondness and wanted its return. The desire for a backwards step to authoritarianism was worrying. French politicians – as wily then as now – saw Lady Liberty as a way, albeit phenomenally huge, to focus the public’s imagination on republicanism as the best way forward. The USA and its centennial of independence from the yolk of England was the perfect focus.

The plaster surface of the left arm and its hand take shape, the skeleton underneath revealed. As there is a deal of work under the carapace, so the French politicians had ulterior motives. Using the USA – which many saw as the ideal of government and populist aspirational politics – the French used the statue as a Trojan Horse in reverse, as it were. Its true purpose, in the eyes of the political gift givers, was to make republicanism the center of political ideology in the minds of the people. How greatly it succeeded can never fully be quantified but the French cannot be faulted for thinking big. It must be said here that the ordinary French, through their substantial buying of lottery tickets (and other fundraising efforts) had a much purer purpose at heart than their politicians.
 
It must surely have been amazing for the workers to turn up each morning to the sight of a colossal head looking down upon them. The inspiration for the face seems to be the Roman god of the sun, Apollo or his Greek equivalent, Helios. More down to earth sources of inspiration center on the women in the life of the sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It may well have been Isabella Eugenie Boyer, a good looking and well-known figure in Paris at the time. More worrying, some believe the face of the statue actually belongs to Bartholdi’s mother. Bartholdi never revealed the true model of the face, but if this is the case Freud would have had a field day.

Bertholdi made a small scale model first, which is still displayed in the Jardin du Luxembourg in the city of the statue’s original construction, Paris. Before the statue was shipped to America, though, it had to be seen to be tested. If it had not been for money, it may never have landed in the states – particularly in the form we all know. On a visit to Egypt, Bartholdi’s vision of liberty expanded to its present proportions. Had his original idea received financial support, then whatever gift the French gave the Americans for the 1876 centennial could not possibly have been the statue.
 
Little by little, the statue arises. Bertholdi saw the Suez Canal under construction in the eighteen sixties and was inspired to build a giant figure at its entrance. He drew up plans which bore a remarkable similarity to what now stands on Liberty Island but his ideas were rejected by the Egyptian ruling body of the time because of the financial problems the country was facing at the time. Had the statue been built in Egypt as a lighthouse, the idea would never have been taken up for America. The Statue of Liberty as we know it was in fact used as a lighthouse, from its unveiling in 1886 right until 1902 – the very first in the world to use electricity.


Almost there! There were huge structural issues that had to be addressed in the design and construction of a sculpture of such enormity. Enter a certain Gustave Eiffel, who would later go on to build that eponymous tower which still dominates the skyline of Paris. It was his job (which he delegated to Maurice Koechlin, his favored structural engineer) to ensure that Liberty’s copper sheath could move while still remaining vertical. Koechlin created a huge pylon of wrought iron and the famous skeletal frame to ensure that the statue would not fall down in high winds.


Money was always a problem. The plan had been to get the statue to the US by the fourth of July, 1876. Only the right arm and torch were finished by then. However, as the Americans had taken responsibility for the construction of the pedestal, these pieces of the statue were displayed to the American pubic at the Centennial Exposition (in Philadelphia). Money raised by allowing people to climb this part of the statue (see here) started the funding efforts for the base of the statue. The French did their bit too, showing the head in their own exposition in 1878.

1886 must have been one of those years that people remembered for the rest of their lives. A statue of gigantic proportions, symbolizing the ideas and aspirations of America, was unveiled by President Grover Cleveland at Liberty Island (renamed from Bedloe’s Island or Love Island). In an ironic twist, President Cleveland had vetoed the New York legislature from contributing fifty thousand dollars to help with the building of the statue’s pedestal. Letting bygones be bygones, President Cleveland was more than happy to officiate at the ceremony. This had not been the only problem to face the statue in the years before its final unveiling, of course. From the model stage, above, to its triumphant moment of revelation, the process was fraught with difficulty – mostly of a financial nature. However, thanks to the efforts of both the American and French people we now have a permanent reminder of what we should hold dear – liberty still symbolically steps forth from her shackles to protect, shelter and enlighten.


Fresh Update! ( www.funonthenet.in ) :

March 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

about HP Compaq 6910p

The HP Compaq 6910p is HP’s premier 14.1” business notebook, as part of their ‘Balanced Mobility’ line-up. The 6910p is the Santa Rosa refresh of the nc6400. The 6910p includes the addition of a firewire port, Intel Wireless 4965 ABGN, and the option of either integrated Intel X3100 or dedicated ATi X2300 graphics cards.
The 6910p has a similar chassis to the 6510/6515b notebooks, but is slightly thinner.

Being HP Compaq’s premier 14.1” notebook, it comes with a range of security options as standard, such as a TPM chip, drive encryption, smart card reader, Intel Centrino Pro and finger print biometrics, as well as HDD data protection ‘3D DriveGuard’ accelerometer.
The notebook has a sturdy magnesium alloy display enclosure, reducing weight whilst increasing durability.
Reasons for buying
I’m currently in my second year at university, studying a commerce degree. I basically got sick of carrying around the nx8220 in my bag, with all my course books, so decided to bite the bullet on a lighter, more compact notebook. I wanted all the features of the nx8220 in a smaller and lighter notebook, and the 6910p fits the bill, being cheaper than the previous nc6400s, as well as the Lenovo Thinkpad T61 and Dell Latitude D630.
Where and how purchased
I purchased the 6910p online in New Zealand. The original laptop was sent the day payment was made, but subsequently lost by the couriers. Two weeks later they allowed a replacement to be sent, but it was out of stock, and would take another week to be in stock, so I opted for the more expensive model that I’m reviewing now.
My 6910p was specced out as follows:
NZ$2970 w/3yr warranty
CPU: Intel C2D T7500 2.2Ghz 4MB L2 Cache
OS: MS Vista Business 32/64bit
RAM: 2x1024MB DDR2-667 (2GB Total; expandable to 4GB)
Display: 14.1” WXGA 1280×800 Anti-glare 200nit
GPU: ATi X2300 w/128MB Dedicated DDR3 RAM
HDD: 100GB 7200rpm
Optical Drive: MultiBay II DVD SM DL
Battery: 6 cell Li-Ion 55WHr
Wireless: Intel Pro/Wireless 4965 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, Infrared
Weight: 2.30kg w/6 cell and Multibay II DVD SM DL drive
2.15kg w/6 cell and weight saver
Dimensions: 330x240x33-40mm WxDxH (front-back)
Ports/slots: 3xUSB 2.0; MultiBay II; 10/100/1000 Lan; Modem; S-Video out; VGA out; Firewire; Audio in; Audio out; internal microphone; SD/MMC card reader; Smart Card Reader; Type I/II PC Card Reader; SIM card slot; Docking connector; Second battery connector.
Other: Finger print reader, Touch stick with 2 buttons, Touch pad with 2 buttons, Volume up – down, Volume mute, Presentation, Wireless, HP Info Centre touch sensitive buttons.
Included software:
MS Vista Business 32/64bit (one time option on startup, Windows Vista 32bit DVD included)
HP Application and Driver Recovery DVD 32/64bit
Intervideo DVD
Roxio DVD Creator
MS Office 07 60 Day Trial
Google Toolbar
Norton Antivirus 60 Day Update
HP ProtectTools security software
Opening it up
One of the first options you get when you start this thing up is whether to install the 32bit or 64bit version of Vista Business. Since the packaging included the 32bit version only, I decided it would be a good idea to stick with the 32bit version as well, since I was going to do a fresh install later anyway. I was very pleased to see that HP included a recovery DVD as well, meaning I didn’t need to create my own.
After Vista had set itself up, and I could actually use the notebook, I was surprised to see Vista (and ATi Catalyst Control Centre) identify the graphics card as the ATi X1450, although this was remedied by a fresh install and downloading the ATi driver from HP.

The laptop and included DVDs and manual
Design and Build
The screen casing is a magnesium alloy, making it lighter and stronger than the cheaper 6510b. Pushing the lid results in no LCD distortion, which is a change from the nx8220. There is no noticeable flex in the chassis, unless you deliberately move either side in opposite directions, lifting one side, whilst pushing down on the other.
The look of the notebook is professional, being black on the underside, and a gun-metal like-grey around the keyboard and on the lid, whilst the LCD bezel is black.
All 6910p notebooks come with 3 WWAN antennae, and 2 WLAN antennae. Having the three WWAN antennae allows someone who didn’t purchase the laptop with the WWAN card to purchase it separately later, and install it themselves. The SIM card slot is located in the battery bay, and is clearly marked. You must take the battery out before inserting the SIM card, which prevents any possibility of it being knocked out.

Insert you SIM card here
Keyboard
Like the 6510b reviewed by Andrew, the 6910p has touch sensitive volume controls, presentation mode, wireless and HP Info Centre buttons. Thankfully these don’t make sounds, and a welcome feature is the onscreen display for the volume controls, which is nice compared to my nx8220 which lacks such a feature. Although the touch sensitive buttons look nice and attractive, I would agree with Andrew and say that I prefer the old type of rubber buttons like my nx8220.
The keyboard itself has HP’s DuraKey finish and is spill-resistant, not that I’m going to try out that feature. The keys have a different feel to my nx8220 but I’m quickly adjusting to them. The actual size of the keys appears bigger than the nx8220, although this is because of the differing angles of tapering. The keys are more rubbery than the nx8220, which I’m quickly beginning to like. The keyboard is overall nice to type on, and I don’t notice any flexing at all.
Since I’m used to HP touch pads I found this nearly identical to the nx8220. It has good speed and responsiveness and I only needed to adjust the scroll area as I felt it was a tad too large, getting in the way of scrolling. The 6910p also includes a track point, but I have not played around with that since the last time I used a track point was about 12 years ago on a real old IBM.

View of the keyboard
Input and Output Ports
The 6910p offers the standard ports that other business class notebooks of this size offer.

On the front we’ve got the MMC/SD card slot and the Infrared port. To the right are the two speakers. On the left front are the LED lights for Wireless, Power, Battery charge and HDD/DVD activity and HP DriveGuard status.

The right side has the Smart Card reader, MultBay II DVD SM DL drive, USB port, Gigabit LAN and modem ports. (Shown with 8 cell travel battery)

The left side has the fan exhaust, two more USB ports, Firewire port, Audio in, Audio out and the PC Card slot.

At the back is the power jack, S-Video out and VGA out, a long with the lock slot on the left of the battery.

View of the bottom
The screen
The screen is much better than my nx8220. It is brighter. Adjusting the screen brightness using the function keys results in an onscreen display. Again this is something lacking on the nx8220. The screen is brighter than the nx8220 and has much better horizontal viewing angles. I would say the vertical viewing angles are only slightly better though. The screen is bright enough for my needs, but I don’t know how it will stack up when used outside when University starts next week.
I would like the option to lower the brightness further to save battery life, but otherwise I have no complaints.

HP 6910p on the left, compared to my nx8220 on the right.
Sound
The 6910p, like the nc6400 has two speakers on the front right of the notebook. I assumed there was only one speaker as the right side was where all the sound was coming from, but was mistaken. They are sufficient for Windows sounds and warning sounds, and are actually half decent, given that they are both on the right side. Any audiophile would need to use external devices such as speakers or headphones. As such, I haven’t tested it out much, except for listening to online radio, and a bit of AOE3. The volume is sufficient to fill a medium size room, but are nothing to write home about.
Performance and Benchmarks

The notebook scores a respectable 3.9 on the Windows Experience Index, predictably limited by the graphics card.
Super Pi 2M: 56 seconds
3DMark 06: 969
3DMark 05: 2421
PCMark 05: 4394
HDTune:

Performance is on par with what you’d expect from a C2D at 2.2Ghz. It never lags, and the ATi X2300 is enough to be able to play with high settings in AOE III, the only graphically intense game I own. It would have been nice to see the equivalent of the 8400M GS with DX10 but its not a major problem.
Battery life
The included battery is a 6 cell 55WHr battery. It has a higher capacity than the cheaper 6510/6515b notebooks. HP claims that it should last up to 4 ¾ hours on Windows XP. Using the wireless, surfing the net I got around 3 hours 15 minutes. HP also has an 8-cell and 12-cell second battery options that connect underneath the laptop. These raise the rear of the notebook, allowing better typing positions with the raised keyboard. I myself have the 8-cell travel battery which came originally with my nx8220. I would expect the 8 cell to double the battery life of the notebook.
Heat and noise
One of the big issues with the 6510b and 6710b notebooks from HP that many users have been complaining about is the fan noise, and having it spin up ‘every time I move the mouse.’ In fact this has been an issue in many HP notebooks, but you can rest assured that no such problem exists for the 6910p.
Typing this review, all I can hear is the hard drive doing its indexing thing. When the fan does spin up, it is barely audible. Even the fastest fan speed under benchmarking is acceptable, and much less than the nx8220 (which uses a cooler Pentium M). I can assure you there is no vacuum cleaner and it won’t start flying.
Temperatures using Notebook Hardware Control under idle is 50C and 60C under load. The hard drive at maximum performance and idle in NHC is 39C. Unfortunately NHC doesn’t support voltage adjustment on the new Santa Rosa chips.
The left palm rest gets luke warm, due to the performance hard drive (7200rpm). When power management is used to lower the performance of the hard drive, it is not noticeable. The keyboard is generally warm, but not anywhere near hot or as bad as my nx8220 can get.
Wireless
The 6910p came with Intel wireless a/b/g/n. I only have a wireless ‘g’ network at home, but clearly out performs my nx8220. Our router is situated downstairs. Generally my nx8220 gets a ‘good’ reception at 48mbps, whilst the 6910p works flawlessly at ‘excellent’ and 54mbps. Downloading updates from HP resulted in download speeds at the maximum our line offers, whilst the nx8220 only manages half that speed.
Conclusion
The HP 6910p is a perfect laptop for anyone demanding top build quality and excellent performance in a 14.1” form factor. It is a worthy competitor to the Thinkpad T61 and Latitude D630. In New Zealand the 6910p represents good value compared to the competition, being significantly cheaper than lesser spec’d T61s and D630s. It’s light, reasonably thin and has great performance.
Pros:
• Great, solid build quality with magnesium alloy screen casing
• Professional, non-flashy design
• Fast Core 2 Duo performance for a reasonable price
• Light
• Option for WWAN
• Quiet
• Option for either 32/64bit Vista Business
• Vista 32bit DVD and HP Driver and Application Recovery DVD 32/64bit included (NZ model)
Cons:
• Touch sensitive buttons difficult to effectively use
• Two speakers both on the right front
• Fingerprint reader in awkward position
• Could do with lower brightness settings
• Dedicated graphics option lacks DX10 support. Slower than 8400M GS

__________________

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment