The Sentinelese- perhaps the most isolated people in the world!

sentinel-island
Sentinelese on the beach of North Sentinel Island fiercely defend heir home.

North Sentinel Island is in the Bay of Bengal, in the waters east of India. The Sentinelese inhabit the island and have an estimated population of anywhere from 50-500.  They are aggressively defensive of their island and fend off visitors with arrows and stones and have even killed to keep visitors away from their home.  After multiple failed attempts to communicate with the Sentinelese, the Indian Government has declared North Sentinel Island off -limits and has imposed a 3 mile no-trespassing boundary around the island.

2104
North Sentinel Island,- The Indian government has officially closed the island and made it illegal for anyone to visit – It is dangerous to outsiders trying to make contact and potentially devastating to the Sentinelese- who have no immunities to diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza.

 

A few days after the devastating tsunami in 2004, which killed more than 200, 000 and wiped out nearby islands, the Indian Government sent a helicopter to the island to

In 1981, the ship Primrose ran aground on the coral reef, which surrounds North Sentinel Island.  A few days later, the crew noticed “small black men” carrying spears and arrows and building boats on the beach.  Sensing imminent danger the captain radioed for Sentinelese could reach them.  The tribe used scrap metal from the abandoned boat to build weapons and tools

dRRuzug
Sentinelese chasing potential visitors away1

In 2007,  two fishermen fell asleep in their boat, anchored with a rock tied to a rope.  The anchor failed and the boat drifted near the island and inside the coral reef.   The Sentinelese promptly killed the men andburried them in shallow graves, giving others a grim warning sign to stay away from North Sentinel Island or risk death!

The dense forest canopy makes it impossible to get an accurate count of the tribe.

The Sentinelese survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of the island. Three days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows and threw stones at the hovering aircraft.  Although the tsunami disturbed the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese, they appear to have adapted.

Since 1947, India has administered the island as part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory.  However, because there has never been any treaty with the people of the island, nor any record of a physical occupation whereby the people of the island have conceded sovereignty, the island exists in a curious state of limbo under established international law and can be seen as a sovereign entity under Indian protection. It is, therefore, one of the de facto autonomous regions of India.

image37
Sentinelese trying to repel a helicopter with bows and arrows. (/the are quite accurate and deadly up to 30 ft)

The Andaman and Nicobar Administration has stated in 2005 that they have no intention to interfere with the lifestyle or habitat of the Sentinelese and are not interested in pursuing any further contact with them.   Wikipedia- North_Sentinel_Island

After the 2004 tsunami showed the dangerous tribal species, the world was still unaware of them: http://therednews.com/News/1913/indian-sentinel-island-where-untouched-human-living

North_Sentinel_Island
The canopy of vegetation covers almost everything on North Sentinel Island, even when looking at the island from satellite view, making it difficult to get an accurate count of people living on the island or seeing how they live.

 

Advertisements

Sweden is Now Recycling 99 Percent of its Trash. Here’s how

Sweden does such a good job with recycling, they need to import trash from neighboring countries in order to fuel their existing  Waste-to-Energy Program
Sweden does such a good job with recycling, they need to import trash from neighboring countries in order to fuel their existing Waste-to-Energy Program

 Sweden is Now Recycling 99 Percent of its Trash. Here’s howhttp://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/sweden-now-recycling-99-percent- trash-heres.html

America should take note of this process considering we only recycle approximately 34 percent of the garbage we throw away:  http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/2012_msw_fs.pdf

How does Sweden do it?

  •  They have an aggressive recycling policy, which goes in an order of importance: prevention, reuse, recycling, recycling alternatives, and as a last resort, disposal in landfill.
  •  Amazingly, just 1% of Sweden’s trash ends up in landfillsMuch of the left over waste is taken care of by using “recycling alternatives”, such as the Waste-to-Energy program, which is explained in the video, “Importing garbage for energy is good business for Sweden”  http://vimeo.com/103801887
  • Waste is sorted, then remaining waste is incinerated and converted into electricity
  • 3 tons of garbage contains as much energy as 1 ton of oil
  • Sweden is so good at recycling its trash in fact, that it now has plans to import 800,000 tons of garbage from other countries in Europe in order to create heat for its citizens through its Waste-to-Energy program.

Malé

Click for larger image of Malé, capital of the Republic of Maldives
Click for larger image of Malé, capital of the Republic of Maldives

This fascinating city is Malé, the capital  and the most populous city in the Republic of Maldives.

Here are some facts:

  • The central part of the city is formed by the island of Malé. Three more islands form part of the city. A commercial harbour is located on Malé Island and serves as the heart of all commercial activities in the country.
  • The central island is heavily urbanized, with the built-up area taking up essentially its entire landmass.
  • Slightly less than one third of the nation’s population lives in the capital city.
  • The population of Malé has increased from 20,000 people in 1987 to 100,000 people in 2006.
  • The whole island group, the Maldives, is named after its capital. The word “Maldives” means “The islands (dives) of Malé”.
  • The Island of Malé is the firth most densely populated island in the world. Since there is no surrounding countryside, all infrastructure has to be located in the city itself.
  • Water is provided from desalinated ground water; the water works pumps brackish water from 50-60 m deep wells in the city and desalinates that using reverse osmosis.
  • Electric power is generated in the city using diesel generators.
  • Sewage is pumped unprocessed into the sea.  Solid waste is transported to nearby islands, where it is used to fill in lagoons. The airport was built in this way, and currently the Thilafushi lagoon is being filled in.
  • Many government buildings and agencies are located on the waterfront. Malé International Airport is on adjacent Hulhule Island which includes a seaplane base for internal transportation. Several land reclamation projects have expanded the harbour.
  • Source: Wikipedia- Malé
  • Map: Malé Map

 

 

The Masters Golf Tournament, at Augusta National

Augusta_National_Golf_Club,_Hole_10_(Camellia)
The Masters at Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia

Each spring, the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National draws millions of TV viewers. The unique tournament usually provides challenging competition and athletic drama.  The Masters is even more special for those lucky enough to be able to attend the event in person and has been sold out for years.  (See more info on this below) Here are some interesting facts about Augusta National that they may not tell you on TV.

Info below shortened and taken from an online article, link included at the bottom of this list.
Green Jacket-  The Green Jacket came about for a very simple reason. In the tournament’s early years Augusta National members were encouraged to wear the jacket so patrons would know who to ask questions. Secondarily, when a member hosts guests in the clubhouse, the green jacket designates who gets the bill.
Cheap badges- A badge that allows you to see four competitive rounds will cost you $200—$50 per round.   In 1934, a badge was  $2.20 ($2.00 + .20 cents tax)
Junior Admittance– Children of all ages must have a ticket to enter the grounds. On Tournament days only, a child between 8 and 16 years of age, accompanied by the patron of record (the person whose name is on the Patron List) may obtain a complementary ticket for that day. As a reminder this is limited to one child per day for the patron of record only.  Patron Info

Of course, the stories are legend about how long it takes to get a Masters pass—years. Families will them down to generation after generation. Each year the badge has a unique design and artwork.  Here is a link which has images of all past Masters Tournament Badges.

Careful with commentary–  More than 40 years ago, during one tense moment, CBS commentator Jack Whitaker used the term “mob” to describe the scene around a green. The Masters leadership let his bosses know that he wouldn’t be invited back, and he wasn’t.  Of course, there were Gary McCord’s famous lines about “bikini waxes” and “body bags.” It’s been 17 years. He hasn’t been back, either.  McCord doesn’t care

Patrons (spectators) enjoy the Masters!

Polite fans- They are not fans. They are not a crowd or even a gallery. They are patrons. You’ll hear it often during the CBS broadcast. Also, while on the grounds, patrons are told not to run. Walking only.

Icing the Azaleas-  the site founder Bobby Jones selected was a nursery, so the flora is amazing, to say the least.   If an early spring comes, grounds crew will put ice under the azaleas to slow down their blossoming. They want everything in full color come Masters week. (Note: They cannot control rain, however. Yet.)

The Masters menu, low prices!

1980 prices for food and beer:  It used to be pimento cheese  sandwiches, but now there’s bbq, chicken and others—each for about $3. A beer costs under $3.

Grounds crew keeps the course perfect!

Small field of golfers, large maintenance crew-  It’s the smallest major field—only 99 competitors compared to the 156 in the other three majors. Following the second round, the low 44 scores, plus ties and any golfer within 10 strokes of the lead advance to play the on the weekend.  (making the cut)  That means for Saturday and Sunday the field will be anywhere from 44 to 55. Get there early enough you will find more than 60 people working on the course, mowing, raking, edging, etc.

Augusta National bad for golf?- Of note, there are many who think this does the golf industry a disservice by showing a course so luxurious, verdant and immaculate. It’s a standard that any other course cannot meet, much less your local municipal.  (Augusta has almost unlimited resources for maintenance and the course is closed half the year.)  Article on the topic:  HERE

Limited playing time-  Augusta National closes in late spring and doesn’t open again until fall. Part of this stems from its origins in the mid-1930s. Jones wanted it to be a “national” club, meaning members live all over the country to play. For business executives from the Northeast, the winter was the best time to play.  During that no-play period during the summer, Augusta National undertakes projects to improve the course…..  “This club changes something in this course every year, and they never tell you about it.”

Cheap golf-  It’s one of the best-kept numbers in sports—the initiation fee to Augusta National. With barons like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, among others, as members it goes without saying that money isn’t the object. And it isn’t. To join is reportedly under $100,000, which might be one-tenth of other high profile clubs in the country.  And if you were lucky enough to play the course with a member, you can probably afford it. Guest fees are said to be about $40.

Fine wine  Augusta National is presumed to have one of the best private wine cellars in the world, buying the best French, Italian, American and Australian wines on futures. Those glasses of wine that tasted so good during dinner came from bottles that run $1,000 apiece, and more.

The Masters: 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Augusta National on TV: `

More info and links

Waiting lists for badges:  Beginning in 2012, Augusta National Golf Club announced it would begin making a small number of tournament tickets available for purchase through a random drawing following online registration, directly from Augusta National. Each year, a small number of tickets are returned to ANGC following the deaths of longtime ticket holders, or other reasons. Previously, those tickets were simply removed from circulation. But since 2012, fans can register online to take part in a random drawing for those tickets. To do so, golfers much register on the tickets page on Masters.com; registrants receive notification when the ticket application process is opened each year, shortly following each Masters tournament. The number of available tournament tickets is not listed, but rest assured the number is very small and your odds are very, very long. Link for Masters Ticket Info.

Prior to those announcements, tickets to tournament days (rounds one through four) had not been available from the Masters Tournament directly to the general public since 1972. That year, Augusta National Golf Club opened a waiting list, but due to demand the waiting list itself had to be closed in 1978. (Practice-round tickets have been available) Twenty-two years later, in the year 2000, a new waiting list was opened. But it is now also closed.

Augusta National Golf Club-  located in Augusta, Georgia, is a famous golf club. Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts on the site of a former indigo plantation, the course was designed by Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in January 1933. Since 1934, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course. It was the number one ranked course in Golf Digest’s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses and was the number ten ranked course on Golfweek Magazine’s 2011 list of best classic courses in the United States, in terms of course architecture.

The golf club’s exclusive membership policies have drawn criticism, particularly its refusal to admit black members until 1990, a former policy requiring all caddies to be black and its refusal to allow women to join.   In August 2012, it admitted its first two female members – Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. The golf club has defended the membership policies, stressing that it is a private organization.  Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

Patron behavior rules-

  • No running anywhere on the grounds.
  • No sitting on the grass near the greens.
  • No bare feet (even when sitting down).
  • No chairs with arms. No folding chairs. No flags. No signs. No banners. No coolers. No strollers. No radios.
  • No standing in officially designated sitting areas. No sitting in the standing areas. No cameras. No rigid chairs. No hats worn backward. No metal golf spikes. No outsize hats. No carts. And absolutely no lying down anywhere . No fanny packs larger than 10 inches wide, 10 inches high or 12 inches deep (in their natural state).
  • No ladders.
  • No selling a Masters badge within 2,700 feet of an Augusta National gate.
  • No walking through a driving gate.
  • No recorders.
  • No periscopes.
  • No outside food.

Things you will not see at Augusta National:

  • No Crowding- There is no crowding at the Masters because the club limits the number of entrance badges sold to keep the attending masses manageable. A four-day badge will go for as much as $5,600 on the secondary market, which means there is also no complaining. Badges are included in many wills.
  • No membership applications- The club has no membership application process; if someone asks to join, the unified retort is, No chance.
  • No cellphones
  • No Yelling- At the Country Club of No, because the atmosphere is reserved and austere, no one shouts “You da man!” after a golfer’s shot, another pleasant outcome.
  • No weeds-  there are no weeds at the Masters, to the naked eye, on the more than 350 acres that play host to the tournament.
  • No litter- There is no litter because at least one maintenance employee is assigned to each quarter-acre, and should someone attempt to carelessly discard a food wrapper, an employee dashes over and snatches it before it hits the ground. It is then deposited in a garbage receptacle
  • No large wildlife- There are squirrels and birds. But a high protective fence around the entire tract keeps out larger animals, spurned as unwanted interlopers. A few years ago, when a deer ran across the eighth green, spectators gasped and pointed, and the local newspaper ran a picture of the animal. People who have been coming to the Masters since the 1950s said they had never seen a deer on the course.

Links and articles used in this post:

200,000 would like to live on Mars!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4tgkyUBkbY

If you have ambitions of being one of the first people on Mars, listen up: A Dutch company says it is moving along with its plan to send four lucky Earthlings to colonize the Red Planet. The catch: They won’t ever come back.

The Mars One foundation announced Tuesday that it has secured lead suppliers for an unmanned mission launching in 2018, which involves a robotic lander and a communications satellite. Lockheed Martin has been contracted to study building the lander, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. will develop a concept study for the satellite, Mars One said.
This first mission will demonstrate technology that would be involved in a permanent human settlement on Mars. If all goes well — and that’s still very much an “if” — the first pioneers could land on Mars in 2025.
Enthusiasm has been growing since the project’s first big announcement in April.

  • More than 200,000 people have signed up to be prospective astronauts, Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp said in Washington on Tuesday.

Apparently, they’re OK with living out the rest of their lives on Mars.

  • The technology for a return flight doesn’t exist
  • There’s no Kennedy Space Center launch pad over there
  • Having a one-way trip greatly reduces costs, the company has said.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/10/tech/innovation/mars-one-plan/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

Yosemite’s Frazil Ice and Giant Snow Cone (and Horsetail Fall)

This unique phenomenon takes place in March and April, in Yosemite National Park, as a slurry of slushy, watery, snow pushes down Yosemite Creek and into the Yosemite Valley.   A giant snow cone is formed under the falls and pieces of ice fall off the cliff onto the cone. (watch at about 4:30 for the snow cone)

“Horsetail Fall looks like a glowing fire fall in February” (6:53)  See additional video below

“The Snowcone, at the base of Upper Yosemite Fall” (7:00)

Frazil Ice

Horsetail Fall – At about 4:00 watch people push coals over the edge to put on a show for spectaors below

Outside In

Get ready for an amazing IMAX film!

Stephen Van Vuuren is a self-described musician, photographer, ubergeek and filmmaker whose diverse background includes growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa and Knoxville, Tennessee. Like most filmmaker’s, Van Vuuren has a current film project, but the movie he wants to make is a bit unique. He wants to personally take hundreds of thousands of still photographs from NASA‘s Cassini-Huygens Mission and turn them into an animated IMAX film. The film called Outside In has been profiled previously, but a recent posting about Van Vuuren and his movie on io9.com has giving his project new life since his video with scenes from the movie have gone viral. More on Geek.com

New Building!

Redesigned during construction to include additional floors, elevator was overlooked.
Skyscraper was redesigned during construction to include additional floors, elevator was overlooked.

This new building in Spain is missing something that could be a deal-breaker for prospective tenants; an elevator!

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/-spanish-skyscraper-going-up—-without-an-elevator—214416887.html

Volcano under Yellowstone bigger than we thought!

Yellowstone is an active volcano. Surface features such as geysers and hot springs are direct results of the region's underlying volcanism. (National Park Service)
Yellowstone is an active volcano. Surface features such as geysers and hot springs are direct results of the region’s underlying volcanism. (National Park Service)

Yellowstone National Park is actually a giant caldera, which is the large cauldron-like feature formed by a volcanic eruption.  Driving through the park is much different from what people may expect. The park is unique and amazing, with wildlife, geysers and more to thrill visitors, but it does not have the towering peaks that other Rocky Mountain parks, Like Glacier or the Tetons offer up.  The park is actually on top of a massive volcano!

  • Yellowstone’s underground volcanic plumbing is bigger and better connected than scientists thought, “The magma reservoir is at least 50 percent larger than previously imaged.”
  • Knowing the volume of molten magma beneath Yellowstone is important for estimating the size of future eruptions.
  • The last caldera eruption was 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions occurred in between and after the big blasts, most recently about 70,000 years.
  • The magma chamber seen in the new study fed these smaller eruptions and is the source of the park’s amazing hydrothermal springs and geysers.
  • Previously, researchers had thought the magma beneath Yellowstone was in separate blobs, not a continuous pocket.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/04/18/yellowstone-volcano-bigger-than-thought/?intcmp=obinsite#ixzz2RPK4MANY

 

 

China Airport Boom!

Construction is underway at the new Hefei Xinqiao airport and its four runways, in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province on March 14, 2012

 

China Airport Boom: Will There Be a Bust?

Daxing airport (On the outskirts of Beijing) will cover more than 90 square kilometers and boast nine runaways by 2030, with an annual capacity of 80 million passengers. At that size, it would surpass both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport and London Heathrow airport to become the busiest aviation hub in the world. Daxing’s price tag? $12.66 billion.
Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/11/02/china-airport-boom-will-there-be-a-bust/#ixzz2B6tZpHtJ

Olympic Tower Bridge!

 

The Moon became the 6th Olympic ring, at least for a moment. This photo was taken on August 3, 2012 and topped the trending charts for a day.

A photographer used a smart phone app to predict the trajectory of the moon and timed this photograph perfectly.  The Olympic Rings have been hung off London’s Tower Bridge to celebrate London Olympiad 2012. http://tinyurl.com/c6bawkm

 

The gigantic rings cost about $100,000 to install, and not without controversy.  http://tinyurl.com/9slgvx8

The Tower Bridge is a drawbridge and opens about 1,000 times a year to allow river traffic to pass.
                                             The rings weigh 3 tons and lift up when the bridge opens to let sailboats and other river traffic through.

 

 

Kim Jong Il Looking

Looking at sausages!

Kim Jong Il recently passed away, but lives on forever!  Check out this link, and find many pictures of the Great Leader looking at various things!

Link:  http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/

Looking at corn?

Smoking Humpy (pink) Salmon

Late August and early September in PNW

Walked down an alley in Everett, WA and smoke was pouring out of this little, wooden shack.  A wooden sign on it said “Smoke house.”  Every other year, the Pink Salmon (Humpy) runs are incredible in the Pacific Northwest, as the fish head back to their birthplace to spawn and keep the cycle going.  Some get caught along the way, cleaned, and hung in cool little shacks like this to be cured with smoke, a tasty way to preserve and enjoy the fish!

Krispy Kreme Cheesburger

The Wisconsin State Fair has some interesting culinary creations, most of them deep-fried.  I would like to try one of those weird, deep-fried items, but this doesn’t even look or sound good.   Maybe I’m missing the boat.

http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/images/0817-cheeseburger.jpg/8491448-1-eng-US/0817-cheeseburger.jpg_full_380.jpg

Meteorite Information

Amazing!  Hammer stones are meteorites that have hit man-made objects, which increases their value.

Great NPR story on meteorites

Awhile back, in the 90’s, a family in suburban Seattle had what they thought was a meteorite crash through their roof and land in their living room.  It was green and started melting before authorities could arrive.  Turns out it was a backed up toilet, leaking sewage on the outside of an  airliner descending into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  As the mass warmed up, it started to emit a foul smell.  These folks thought they had a hammer-stone meteorite, but actually had a chunk of frozen, jetliner, toilet water.  But hey, we are still talking about them! 

Article on the situation

More on the frozen poop

What is wealth?

Check out the view of wealth and luxury in Finnland.   I don’t mind the idea of high taxes.  I think college should be free in the United States.  I also think every kid should be fed at school.  We can afford to give our students free breakfast and lunch.  Many kids have parents who don’t qualify for free and reduced lunch, or they won’t fill out the paperwork, or the kids are too embarrassed.  They go hungry, and that is a crime.  While we are at it, everyone in the United States should have free health care.  It is time to face it.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090501/cm_csm/ycorson

Skid Row

 

Sleeping on the concrete in Skid Row, Los Angeles
Sleeping on the concrete in Skid Row, Los Angeles

Skid Row is a very sad situation.   Just blocks from skyscrapers, people live in despair.  NPR has a very interesting video on their website.  Check it out:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103289221

Map Link

Great article about Iran travel!

Rick Steves has done great for himself, and for many others who learn travel, culture and history from his shows, tours and lectures.  This article on visiting Iran is great article for a lot of reasons, read through to the end:

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090103/LIVING/701039980/1027/LIVING#Visiting.Iran.requires.cultural.attitude.adjustments