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1  Emaar Properties claims Burj Dubai as world's tallest building

July 22, 2007

Burj_Dubai_under_construction.jpg, 5 kB

United Arab Emirates (UAE) developer Emaar Properties has claimed that their Burj Dubai commercial and residential tower, currently under construction, has become the world's tallest building, reaching a height of 512.1 metres (or 1,680 feet) and 141 storeys.

The current official record holder, Taipei 101 of Taiwan, has a height of 508 metres and 101 storeys, and will retain the "tallest building" title for some time to come. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat sets the criteria for achieving height records for buildings, and will not evaluate the Burj Dubai until construction is complete in late 2008. Although final height details have been kept secret by the developer, the Burj Dubai is expected to reach nearly 700 metres in height, with approximately 160 storeys.

The current record holder for the world's tallest free-standing structure is the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. It has a height of 553 metres. The Burj Dubai, therefore, would claim both records when it is completed.

Once the Burj Dubai is completed, it will have required 330,000 cubic metres of concrete, 39,000 tonnes of steel and 142,000 square metres of glass, according to Emaar Properties. The building will have 56 lifts (elevators) that can move at a rate of speed of 1.75 to 10 metres per second.

Dubai is undergoing a construction boom currently with the Burj Dubai as the planned centrepiece of a $US20 billion project, which will eventually realize some 30,000 apartments and boast the world's largest shopping mall.

There have been criticisms of the working conditions for construction workers in the UAE. A majority of the estimated 500,000 construction workers in the UAE are foreign workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In a 2006 report on the UAE's treatment of migrant workers, entitled Building Towers, Cheating Workers, Human Rights Watch documented abuses in UAE such as, "extremely low wages, several years of indebtedness to recruitment agencies for fees that UAE law says only employers should pay, the withholding of employees’ passports, and hazardous working conditions that result in apparently high rates of death and injury."

In October of last year, Human Rights Watch delivered specific recommendations to the UAE government for improvement of working conditions. The UAE government acted swiftly on the report and put in place several improvements, which were applauded by Human Rights Watch.

However, the salaries of migrant construction workers remain in the range from $106 to $250 per month, while the national average wage is over $2,000 per month. Trade unions remain illegal in the UAE.

Burj Dubai    -     hledat v googlu: Burj Dubai, obrázky v googlu: Burj Dubai

2  The Simpsons taken off Venezuelan TV after being called unsuitable

April 9, 2008

The animated television show, The Simpsons, has been taken off Venezuelan television after claims that the programme is "inappropriate" for children. A regulator in Venezuela said that, by airing the program, the network broadcasting The Simpsons Televen "were infringing many things in the television and radio social responsibility law."

The American drama series Baywatch Hawaii, which stopped airing in the United Stated in 2001, is being aired as a replacement to the animated series. Baywatch is about the lives of fictional lifeguards in the county of Los Angeles.

According to the CIA's The World Factbook, Venezuela has a total of 111 television channels. It is claimed in the factbook, however, that 45 of these are repeater channels.

The website of Televen describes the animated series, which it will soon stop airing, as a "famous family," which has won "several awards."

Simpsons    -     hledat v googlu: Simpsons, obrázky v googlu: Simpsons

3  Previously unknown Indian tribe discovered in Brazil

June 2, 2007

Amazon_rainforest_area, 8 kB

An Indian tribe, thought to have had little previous contact with civilization, was found in a remote area of the Amazon, approximately 2000 km to the north of Rio de Janeiro. It comprises 87 members. Called Metyktire, they are reported to be by and large naked, except that the men use penis sheaths, and the women shave the tops of their heads.

The reason for their not being discovered before now is thought to be at least partly due to the lack of larger rivers in the area, which makes communication difficult. The discovery was made when two members of the Metyktire tribe suddenly showed up in the Kayapo tribe's village, in the Menkregnoti reservation of the Amazon. The Metyktire tribe is a subgroup of the Kayapo tribe, with which it has had little significant contact, but the members speak an archaic form of the Kayapo language.

In order to protect the members of the tribe from diseases they might lack resistance to, the Brazilian government has forbidden contact with them except for a team of doctors which has been sent in to examine them.

Indian tribe    -     hledat v googlu: Indian tribe, obrázky v googlu: Indian tribe

4  Queen voted Britain's greatest band

January 5, 2008

British rock band Queen have been voted Britain's greatest band by BBC Radio 2 listeners.

More than 20,000 people voted for the band, which was one of five finalists selected by listeners over the previous week. DJ Mark Goodier then hosted a three-hour live show on New Year's day to discuss the five contenders.

Votes were cast via email, text and phone, with Queen up against The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Take That and Oasis. It was then revealed live on air that Queen were the winners, with The Beatles just 400 votes behind.

greatest band    -     hledat v googlu: greatest band, obrázky v googlu: greatest band

5  1960's guru icon Maharishi Mahesh Yogi dies

February 6, 2008

An Indian guru who taught some of the 20th century's most famous celebrities and created a multi-billion dollar spiritual empire has died. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement, died at his home in the Netherlands. He is believed to have been 91 years old.

Known for his long white beard and tendency to giggle, he became a well-known counter-culture figure in the 1960's. Members of the Beatles rock music band made repeated pilgrimages to the Himalayan foothills to study his meditation technique, known as TM.

Little is certain about the yogi's early life in central India. His given name and birthday are disputed. It is known he studied physics at Allahabad University.

A professor of psychology at the school, Emmanuel Ghosh, says the guru's academic training, combined with study under a Vedic swami, helped to make him accessible to those in the West seeking alternative answers to life's questions during the socially tumultuous 1960's.

"He had a rational approach," said Ghosh. "He had a scientific background and he could tell the West that 'You could test my theories through science.' He was the first one who started this whole system of reducing stress by breath control, by meditation and you could measure it in objective terms."

Maharishi also tutored other pop musicians, Hollywood actors and film directors. His TM movement attracted millions of followers worldwide who paid hundreds of dollars to receive a personal mantra to recite for 20 minutes, twice a day.

Professor Ghosh at Allahabad University says, despite his fame and success overseas, Maharishi was just one among many gurus in his native India.

"His influence in India has been negligible. Every guru is independent to propagate his own method of salvation or nirvana," said Ghosh. "So he took off for a while [in India] as long as he was appreciated in the West."

Perhaps his biggest legacy in India is the country's largest chain of privately owned schools. Other institutes and universities based on his teachings also exist in the United States and Europe.

In later years, some of the guru's projects and beliefs earned him ridicule, such as hoping to raise $10 trillion to achieve world peace and banish poverty and encouraging followers to learn what he called "yogic flying". While many adherents praise Maharishi for propagating a scientifically verifiable ancient method to help them deal with the stress of modern life, some disenchanted followers considered TM a quasi-religious cult more interested in raising funds than spirits.

guru    -     hledat v googlu: guru, obrázky v googlu: guru

6  Wikipedia features Encyclopadia Britannica on its main page

August 8, 2007

The Encyclopadia Britannica today appeared on the main page of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as it became the day's featured article. Encyclopadia Britannica has recently been critical of Wikipedia in terms of the website's openness and accuracy as an encyclopedia.

The Encyclopadia Britannica, first published in Scotland in 1768, has been critical about Wikipedia in the past due to the way it is written. Whilst the Encyclopadia Britannica is written by a team of identified contributors, 19 full-time editors and over 4,000 expert contributors, Wikipedia can be written by anyone who has access to an internet connection. The Encyclopadia Britannica claims that the differences between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannicas editorial policies make Encyclopedia Britannica more accurate than Wikipedia.

One study carried out by the news department of the scientific journal Nature, a study of 42 selected science articles showed that Wikipedia had 162 errors, whilst the Encyclopadia Britannica had 123. The Encyclopadia Britannica responded by saying that the study was misleading because certain articles were not taken from the Encyclopadia, some articles were combinations of several articles, others were simply excerpts.

Wikipedia's featured articles are to be examples of the site's finest work. Out of over 1.9 million articles that exist as of writing, there are only 1,535 featured articles. These are indicated with a bronze star in the top-right hand corner of the article.

Encyclopadia Britannica    -     hledat v googlu: Encyclopadia Britannica, obrázky v googlu: Encyclopadia Britannica

7  UFO sightings reported in Texas town

January 16, 2008

Dozens of people in the Texas town of Stephenville have reported seeing strange objects in the night sky last week, which many believe to be a UFO.

The eyewitnesses, who include a pilot, business owners, and the county constable, all claim to have seen a large, silent object with bright, flashing lights flying low and fast over the town. Some have even reported it being chased by fighter jets. People in other towns have given similar reports in past weeks.

"People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it's the end of times," said Steve Allen, pilot and owner of a freight company. He describes the object as being a mile long and half a mile wide. "It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts," Allen asserted.

Lee Roy Gaitlin, constable of Erath County, says the object had red glowing lights and white flashing lights. "It wasn't an airplane. It wasn't a meteor, because it wouldn't have been bouncing around. It wasn't just one light," said Gaitlin.

Officials from nearby Air Force bases — Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls — say none of their aircraft were in the area the night of the sightings. However, Major Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, believes the object was an illusion caused by airplane lights.

"I'm 90 percent sure this was an airliner. With the sun's angle, it can play tricks on you." Lewis said.

The Mutual UFO Network, a UFO investigative organization, plans to visit the town next weekend.

UFO    -     hledat v googlu: UFO, obrázky v googlu: UFO

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