Best Full Moon

Tonight is the first full moon of 2010 and it will be the biggest full moon this year. The full moon will coincide with the moon's perigee – it's closest point to Earth. The first moon of the year is also known as the Old Moon. Other names are Wolf Moon, Moon After Yule, and Ice Moon. In Hindi it is known as Paush Poornima. Its Sinhala (Buddhist) name is Duruthu Poya. Don't miss it out. Enjoy!

J.D. Salinger dies

J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose "The Catcher in the Rye" shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91. Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son said in a statement from Salinger's longtime literary representative, Harold Ober Agency. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.

The Best Firewall in the World

1. One human cell contains 75MB genetic information.
2. One sperm contains a half of that; that is 37.5MB.
3. One ml of semen contains 100 million sperms.
4. In average, ejaculation lasts for 5 sec and contains 2.25 ml semen.
5. This means that the throughput of a man's member is equal to (37.5MB x 100,000,000 x 2.25)/5 = 1 687 500 000 000 000 byte/second = 1,6875 Š¢erabyte/sec

This means that the female eggcell withstands this DDoS attack at 1,5 terabyte per second, and only lets through one(!) data package, thereby being the best freaking hardware firewall in the world!

The downside of it is that this only small data package that it lets through, hangs the system for the whole of 9 months!

Tim Burton to head Cannes film jury

Tim Burton will head the nine-member jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The festival will start on May 12th.


Picasso - Acrobat
A woman who was taking an art class at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has accidentally fallen into a Picasso painting and damaged it.
The unusually large canvas, called The Actor, measuring 6ft by 4ft (1.8m by 1.2m) depicts an acrobat posed against an abstracted backdrop. The painting sustained a vertical tear of about six inches (15cm) in the lower right-hand corner and will be repaired.


Scorpions - The End of the Road

The German rock band Scorpions announced today they are going to retire after more than 40 years! on stage. The band was founded by guitarist Rudolf Schenker, 61, in 1965 in Hanover. The current line-up is Klaus Meine, Matthias Jabs, Rudolf Schenker, Pawel Maciwoda and James Kottak.
Scorpions was my favorite rock band when I was younger. I will always remember their hits - Holiday, Still Loving You, Believe in Love, No One Like You, Wind of Change.
Thank you, Scorpions!

Avatar - Making movie history

James Cameron's mega-budget blockbuster surpassed the overseas "Titanic's" (another James Cameron) 13-year international boxoffice record ($1.242 billion).
Still to be broken are "Titanic's" domestic boxoffice record ($600.8 million) and its worldwide total ($1.843 billion). "Avatar" has grossed $552.8 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $1.8408 billion globally. Given "Avatar's" current boxoffice pace, it should beat "Titanic's" worldwide record early this week.
Avatar is a great and unique movie. If you haven't seen it yet, do so immediately and do it in the cinema. The computer effects are amazing and must be seen on the big screen.

Flying personal vehicles - not so far away

NASA is working on a personal flying suit. Conceptual designs for the experimental vehicle, called Puffin, were introduced by Mark D. Moore, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center, at a meeting of the American Helicopter Society on Jan. 20 in San Francisco. The Puffin is designed to be 12 feet in length, with a total wingspan of 14 and a half feet; it would weigh in at 300 pounds (without a pilot).
Are you ready to fly?

Twittering from Space

The NASA astronaut, T.J. Creamer, sent today the first tweet from Space: "Hello Twitterverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station -- the 1st live tweet from Space! :) More soon, send yours".
The new Crew Support LAN, takes advantage of existing communication links to and from the station and gives astronauts the ability to browse and use the Web.
Isn't that amazing? What do you think?
To see more tweets from space click here.

What to Wear or Not to Wear?

One of the latest inventions is turning cotton and polyester fabrics into batteries. The approach is based on dipping fabrics into a batch of nanotube dye, and is then pressed, to thin and even out the coating.
How cool is that? This will allow personal electronic devices to become even slimmer because nowadays the main culprit is the battery. The Nokia Morph may not be not that far away after all.

Bafta Film Awards: 2010 nominations

After the Golden Globe Awards, it is time for the Bafta Film Awards, which will be held on 2/21 in London.

Rent Movies From YouTube

YouTube turns into a movie rental business starting tomorrow 1/22/10. The intent is to increase traffic and advertising.
The first five films available for rent are "The Cove," "Bass Ackwards," "One Too Many Mornings," "Homewrecker" and "Children of Invention". It is expected that in the near future the site will expand its rental catalogue with television shows and feature films from major studios.

Privacy - A Thing from the Past?

A new service, called Blippy, was released. It is similar to Twitter, except that it posts your credit card purchases online, so people can see what you are buying, where from and for how much. You may pick one or more of your credit cards and post their transactions online or you can allow websites, like Amazon, Netflix, or iTunes to make your purchases public.
I was very sceptical when the service was announced several months ago and I was surprised to find out today there are people who are posting their transactions. I do not think I am going to use this service? Would you and why?

Conan O'Brien Leaves NBC

Conan O'Brien's last show will be this Friday with Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell as guests. But do not worry about Mr. O'Brien. He is walking away with $33 million dollars and his staff will split $12 million dollars. I think this is a pretty good deal, what do you think?

If Earth had Rings

An amazing video with amazing images of what the earth would look like from different cities and latitudes accross the world if it had rings like Saturn.


Tweeting Gates

Bill Gates started twittering on today and already has 240K followers.
I wonder - will twitter become a part of Windows OS?

$1bn dollar baby

Simon Cowell signed a deal with Sony to net him an estimated $1BILLION over the next six years. He will be getting 50% of the profits.
Simon is currently worth $200 million and industry sources predict this could run to $1 billion - by 2016 with the launch of US X Factor next year.

Congratulations, Simon!

Haiti's still shaking

A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti this morning. This earthquake was 10 times lighter than the devastating one last week. Let's hope there won't be additional victims and damages as rescue team are still finding surviors under the wreckage.

Deal of the Day

NASA has slashed the price of the 1970s-era spaceships to $28.8 million apiece from $42 million. The shuttles are for sale once their flying days are over, which is scheduled to be this fall.
Act now, supplies are limited. ;)

What's next for Mehmet Ali Agca?

Agca shooting at Pope John Paul II [ ] Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, was released from Ankara Sincan prison in Ankara, Turkey on 18 January 2010.
Mehmet Ali Agca served 19 years in an Italian prison for shooting John Paul, and another 10 years in Turkey for the earlier murder of a newspaper editor.
After the shooting, the Bulgarian Sergei Antonov, was arrested and held for more than three years in Italy. Eventually, he was acquitted over lack of evidence. At the time of the arrest Antonov was 32 and worked as a former manager in the Rome office of Balkan Air.
Shattered and physically damaged, he returned to Bulgaria unable to carry on a conversation or concentrate on complex tasks, symptoms his friends say came from the use of psychotropic drugs in his interrogation.
Bulgarian state is determine to seek justice and clear its name once and for all.

Money, Money, Money

Citigroup has reported a loss of $7.6bn (£4.7bn) for the final three months of 2009. The loss is mostly due to repaying government loans. JP Morgan reported profits of $3.3bn for the last three months of 2009 last. Surprisingly, at least to me, Citi's shares went up 0.6% on the day. Would you buy stock from Citigroup?

Doomsday Clock Adjusted

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face, maintained since 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, that uses the analogy of the human species being at a time that is "minutes to midnight", wherein midnight represents "catastrophic destruction". The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global disaster. The most recent officially-announced setting — six minutes to midnight — was on 14 January 2010.

Beware of preying companies

Cell phone users can text the word "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10," and when prompted, hit "YES" to confirm the donation. So far $5,000,000 were donated. While Americans are shocked by the Haiti devastation and trying to help by donating money, some companies are trying to make a profit out of it.
MSNBC asked Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint whether or not they're charging for the sms. Verizon and T-Mobile said they were not charging. Sprint and AT&T admitted they charged the customers who didn't have an unlimited text message plan.
I guess someone at AT&T finally saw the ludicrousness and they promised to waive the charges. Nothing's heard from Sprint yet. This is so inhuman, that I don't even want to comment. If you are a Sprint customer be aware you will receive additional charges for the sms.

The Power of Nature - 15 worst disasters of all time

The Haiti's earthquake reminded us again about how powerful and destructive nature can be.
Here's a list of the 15 worst disasters of all time:

January 12, 2010 - Casualties resulting from the Haiti quake are still unknown, but the Red Cross estimates that up to 3 million people may have been affected.

May 2, 2008 - The death toll from Cyclone Nargis remains uncertain but has been put at 140,000 or more. Caught with nowhere to run, residents of low-lying rice fields in Maynmar were simply swept away.

Oct. 8, 2005 - Magnitude-7.6 earthquake in Pakistan killed more than 40,000 people. The destruction was due in part to the quake's shallow origin.

August 2005 - Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,800 people and is the costliest hurricane in U.S. history. More so than any U.S. disaster in recent decades, its effects linger even today as New Orleans and many coastal communities still struggle to get back on their feet.

Dec. 26, 2004 - The magnitude-9.3 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting Sumatran tsunami is estimated to have killed more than 225,000 people. It affected a broader region and more people than any modern disaster.

1992 - Hurricane Andrew killed 26, but property damage was $25 billion -- most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history at the time.

1985 - Nevado del Ruiz (Columbia) volcano killed 25,000 people, most caught in a massive mudflow.

1976 - Tangshan earthquake in China, a magnitude-8 event, killed somewhere between 255,000 and 655,000.

1931 - Yellow River flood, estimated to have killed 1 million to 3.7 million people via drowning, disease, ensuing famines and droughts. The river also had flooded catastrophically in 1887, killing nearly as many.

1815 - Tambora, Indonesia, volcano of 1815. 80,000 people died of subsequent famine.

1811-12 - Three New Madrid earthquakes in Missouri represent some of the strongest earthquakes in the contiguous United States in recorded history. With magnitudes estimated as high as 7.8 or so, they were felt as far away as Boston. Damage was relatively light due to sparse population, but the quakes serve as a frightening reminder of how fickle nature can be and they are also alarmingly predictive of what could happen in the future now that the area is far more populous.

1737 - Calcutta, India, event killed 300,000. Once thought to have been an earthquake, scientists now lean toward typhoon.

1556 - Shaanzi, China, earthquake killed 830,000. Nobody knows the seismic magnitude.

1330-1351 - The Black Death or Bubonic Plague, a pandemic caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, killed an estimated 75 million people, wiping out somewhere between 30 to 60 percent of Europe's population.

1138 - Aleppo earthquake in Syria, killed about 230,000. It is listed by the U.S. Geological Survey as the fourth deadliest earthquake of all time.

1500 B.C., or so - The Mediterranean Stroggli island blew up. A tsunami virtually wiped out Minoan civilization. Area now called Santorini; Plato called it the site where Atlantis disappeared.


Massive earthquake hits Haiti

A major earthquake, centered 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, stroke Haiti yesterday 01/12/10, shortly before 5pm. The 7-magnitude earthquake flattened the capitol city and some believe that 150,000 could be dead. Most of the buildings have collapsed, there are uncontrolled fires, dead bodies in the streets, no electricity, no water. Pictures from the tragedy look like taken from a low-budgeted movie in which the make-up guys went too far. Nations have started sending aid to the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, where survivors still fight to survive the lack of food and water and somehow cope with the stress and loss of their friend and relatives.
Let's hope the dead toll will not reach this horrifying number and let's pray for the survivors.

Golden Globe Awards

With the Golden Globe Awards just behind the corner (this Sunday 1/17/2010), let's revise the nominees. (Don't miss the event, Gerard Butler is presenting. :))

American Idol

The start of 2010 American Idol is few hours away and Simon Cowell announced that this would be his final season on American Idol. He prepares to bring his hit UK television show "The X-Factor" to the United States.
I think it was about time. American Idol becomes really boring after the first two weeks and a lot of people need something fresh. Let's see what will happen.

Disney Digital Books

Disney has released a website where children can read over 500 of Disney's books online. The design of the site is sleek and turning of the pages is very realistic. The site provides additional features to keep children engaged. Great site to inspire children to dream and imagine and help them in school. Way to go, Disney.

Disney Digital Books

Twitter on Ford cars

Ford Motor Co. announced technology to let computers read their Twitter feeds to them while behind the wheel. The company has not formally announced technology to let drivers post tweets verbally from behind the wheel, but such an announcement likely will come in the next 12 to 18 months.

VanDagens, Ford's global director of connected services, said people read Twitter feeds and send text messages while they're driving anyway, and that the automaker is trying to make those activities safer for drivers.

The technologies will first show up in Edge and Focus model cars. Not all models will be upgraded in 2010, but new lines of these cars will be equipped with the media-center technology, which features an 8-inch screen in the center of the dash and a media hookup under the armrest.

Doesn't this sound like - "Yeah, people, we know you are cheating and breaking the law, and we are here to help you do it safer"? Safer? I bet the computer will not do a great job pronouncing the usernames or dealing with all chat abbreviations, resulting in you looking at the screen to see what the tweet is actually about. As far as voice recognition... may be, if Ford cars were not so noisy.

Facebook's Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over

Or is it "The Age of Facebook is Over"?
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live audience yesterday that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December.
During the years, more than 350 million people signed up and connected to their friends and family through Facebook. Facebook provided a great way for its members to stay connected and share their lives with their friends and families.

Balloon Boy's Parents In Jail

Did you follow the news coverage about the little boy who floated away in a home-made balloon in October 2009?

Wooden bones

Scientists in Italy have developed a way of turning rattan wood into bone that is almost identical to the human tissue. The rattan wood has porous properties, which enable blood, nerves and other compounds to travel through it. Within a few months, the real and the artificial bone will be like one continuous bone.
A herd of sheep have already been implanted with the bones. So far, there are no signs of rejection or infection in the sheep. This will be truelly beneficial for people with major trauma accidents or cancer, the current range of alternatives can be weak and do not fuse with the existing bone.
The new bone-from-wood programme is being funded by the European Union and implants into humans are about five years away.

A cleaning lady or a criminal?

The world is getting crazier and crazier. Just check out this article:

A cleaning lady and her son have been charged over the death of a reclusive, multi-millionaire maths genius whose burned body was found dumped in a field.

Jay or Conan

Jay Leno's 10:00 PM show will go on hiatus February 1. After the Olympics, Jay will take back his 11:30 PM time slot. What has not been decided - whether Jay's show will be a half hour, followed by Conan, or whether Jay's show will be an hour and NBC says sayonara to Mr. O'Brien.

Personally, I prefer Jay's show and this is a interesting development. Let's see what will happen.


The elephant - my friend or?

An American woman and her baby daughter were trampled to death by an elephant while on a forest hike in Kenya.

This is pretty horrible death. Elephants are usually docile and attack only when provoked, like any other creature would do. I cannot imagine an elephant, after seeing a woman and child in the distance, to go there and attack them. This does not make sense. Probably, the woman and the child were playing with a baby elephant and the elephant tried to protect its baby.

The moral of the story: Stay a safe distance from wild animals.

Human Body - Little known facts

1. The nose can remember 50,000 cents.
2. The smallest bone in the human body is the stapes or stirrup bone located in the middle ear. It is approximately 0.11 inches.
3. Similar to finger prints, everybody's tongue has a unique tongue print.
4. The average human sheds 40 lbs of skin in a lifetime.
5. A fingernail takes about 6 months to grow from base to tip.
6. Human tight bones are stronger than concrete.
7. Humans have as many hairs per square inch as chimpanzees.
8. The energy used by the brain is enough to light a 25 watt bulb.
9. The heart produces enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.
10. You get a new stomach lining every three to four days. If you didn't, the strong acids your stomach uses to digest food would also digest your stomach.
11. There are over 650 muscles in the body.
12. The small intestines are about 23 feet long.
13. A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball.
14. Each square inch of human skin consists of twenty feet of blood vessels.
15. A pair of feet have 500,000 sweat glands.

Nokia asks ITC to ban iPhone, iPod, and MacBook import

In addition to the lawsuit that Nokia filed over GSM standards and last week's International Trade Commission complaint, Nokia just filed a second complaint with the federal court, alleging that Apple's infringing several "implementation patents" that cover everything from camera sensors to touchscreens. The biggest bombshell so far is the ITC complaint, in which Nokia's asking the commission to ban imports of basically every Apple mobile product from the MacBook to the iPhone for infringing its device patents.
To "win the war," Nokia is taking at least one page from Apple's play book, cutting back on the number of individual devices it plans to offer, just as Cupertino has pulled ahead of it in smartphone revenue.

Good luck, Nokia. Extreme move? I am not sure, what do you think?

50 Things we've learned in 2009

1. Domestic pigs can quickly learn how mirrors work and use them to find food.

2. Grumpy people think more clearly because negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking.

3. High cholesterol levels in midlife are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia later in life.

4. Analysis of Greenland ice samples shows Europe froze solid in less than 12 months 12,800 years ago, partly due to a slowdown of the Gulf Stream. Once triggered, the cold persisted for 1,300 years.

5. One mutated gene is the reason humans have language, and chimpanzees, our closest relative, do not.

6. Obesity in teenage girls may increase their risk of later developing multiple sclerosis.

7. A fossil skeleton of an Aardonyx celestae dinosaur discovered in South Africa appears to be the missing link between the earliest dinosaurs that walked on two legs and the large plant-eating sauropods that walked on all four.

8. Women who have undergone successful breast cancer treatment are more likely to experience a recurrence if they have dense breast tissue.

9. Babies pick up their parents' accents from the womb, and infants are born crying in their native dialect. Researchers found that French newborns cry in a rising French accent, and German babies cry with a characteristic falling inflection.

10. Surfing the Internet may help delay dementia because it creates stimulation that exercises portions of the brain.

11. The oldest known silken spider webs, dating back 140 million years, were discovered in Sussex, England, preserved in amber. The webs were spun by spiders closely related to modern-day orb-web garden spiders.

12. Scientists have discovered how to scan brain activity and convert what people are seeing or remembering into crude video images.

13. Pumpkin skin contains a substance that inhibits growth of microbes that cause yeast infections.

14. Hormones that signal whether whales are pregnant, lactating or in the mood to mate have been extracted from whales' lung mucus, captured by dangling nylon stockings from a pole over their blowholes as they surface to breathe. (This method could allow scientists to study whales without having to slaughter them.)

15. The higher a patient's body-mass index, the less respect he or she gets from doctors.

16. The blue morpho butterfly, which lives in Central and South America, has tiny ears on its wings and can distinguish between high- and low-pitch sounds. The butterfly may use its ears to listen for nearby predatory birds.

17. The ochre starfish or sea star pumps itself up with cold seawater to lower its body temperature when exposed to the sun at low tide. It is equivalent to a human drinking 1.8 gallons of water before heading into the midday sun, scientists say.

18. The eyes of the mantis shrimp possess a feature that could make DVDs and CDs perform better. By emulating this structure, which displays color wavelengths at all ranges, developers could create a new category of optical devices.

19. The calmest place on Earth is on top of an icy plateau in Antarctica known as Ridge A, several hundred miles from the South Pole. It is so still that stars do not twinkle in the sky because there is no turbulence in the atmosphere to distort the light.

20. The thrill of driving a sports car makes the body produce more testosterone. The findings suggest a biological explanation for why some men buy a sports car when struck by a "midlife crisis."

21. Remains discovered in China of a flying reptile named Darwinopterus could be a missing link between short-tailed pterodactyls and their huge, long-tailed descendants.

22. Bagheera kiplingi, a jumping arachnid from Central America, is the first known vegetarian spider. It eats nectar-filled leaf tips rather than other animals.

23. A massive, nearly invisible ring of ice and dust particles surrounds Saturn. The ring's entire volume can hold 1 billion Earths.

24. A new chemical compound that mimics the body's ability t o fight bacteria could be added to cleaning detergents to prevent bacterial infections in hospitals.

25. Seven new glow-in-the-dark mushroom species have been discovered, increasing the number of known luminescent fungi species from 64 to 71. The fungi, discovered in Belize, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia and Puerto Rico, glow constantly, emitting a bright, yellowish-green light.

26. Hormones in oral contraceptives might suppress a woman's interest in masculine men and make boyish males more attractive to her.

27. Women who revealed about 40 percent of their skin attracted twice as many men as those who covered up. Any more than 40 percent and the signal changes from allure to one indicating general availability and future infidelity.

28. Communities of 850 species of previously undiscovered insects, small crustaceans, spiders, worms and other creatures were found living in underground water, caves and micro-caverns across Australia.

29. The human body emits a glow that is 1,000 times less than what our eyes can detect.

30. If you're trying to attract a partner, an athletic body helps, but a good-looking face is more important.

31. Cockroaches hold their breath for five to seven minutes at a time through a respiratory system that delivers oxygen directly to cells from air-filled tubes. One reason they hold their breath may be to prevent their bodies from getting too much oxygen, which could be toxic to them.

32. Earth was bombarded in 2008 with high levels of solar energy at a time when the sun was in an unusually quiet phase and sunspots had virtually disappeared.

33. Scientists have discovered female eggs in the genitalia of a third of all American male smallmouth bass and a fifth of their largemouth cousins. Female bass occasionally show signs of male testes in their reproductive organs.

34. Nearly all animals emit the same stench when they die, and have done so for more than 400 million years.

35. Previously unknown molecules called hydroxyl radicals are produced by nature and are believed to act as cleaning agents that scrub away toxic air pollution in Earth's atmosphere.

36. A new species of giant rat was discovered in a remote rainforest in Papua New Guinea. At 32.2 inches from nose to tail and 3.3 pounds, it's thought to be one of the largest rats ever found.

37. Differences in body odors produced by people who are more prone to insect bites show they have lower levels of fruity-smelling compounds in their sweat than those who are resistant to mosquitoes.

38. A chemical component in broccoli can protect the lining of arteries from blockage that leads to angina, heart attack and stroke.

39. The length, curl and texture of a dog's fur are controlled by only three genes.

40. The speed of U.S Internet broadband lags far behind other industrial nations, including Japan, Finland, South Korea, France and Canada.

41. Polar bear skulls have shrunk 2 percent to 9 percent since the early 20th century. It's the result, scientists theorize, of stress from pollution and melting habitat.

42. A mysterious disease that killed off more than a third of American honeybees in 2007-08 may have been caused in part by a virus.

43. A group of deep sea worms dubbed "green bombers" are capable of casting off appendages that glow a brilliant green once detached from their bodies. The tactic is believed to be used by the worms to confuse attackers.

44. A flesh-eating pitcher plant that grows more than 4 feet long can swallow and devour rats that are lured into its slipperlike mouth to drown or die of exhaustion before being slowly dissolved by digestive enzymes.

45. An orchid on the Chinese island of Hainan gets hornets to spread its pollen by producing an aroma identical to that made by bees under attack. The hornets feed on bee larvae, so when they get a whiff of the alarm pheromone, they head to the orchids figuring bees are inside.

46. More than 350 new animal species were discovered in the eastern Himalayas, including the world's smallest deer and a flying frog.

47. The spleen is a reservoir for huge numbers of immune cells called monocyte. In the event of a serious health crisis, such as a heart attack, wound or infection, the spleen will disgorge them bloodstream to help defend the body.

48. The Amazon River is about 11 million years old and took its present shape about 2.4 million years ago.

49. A close relationship with a caregiver can give Alzheimer's patients an edge in retaining brain function over time.

50. Watermelon is more efficient at rehydrating our bodies than drinking water. It contains 92 percent water and essential rehydration salts.


World's tallest building - wow!

World's tallest building was opened in Dubai towering at a height of 828 meters (2,717 feet)and a cost of $1.5 billion. This almost doubles Toronto’s CN Tower, who hold the title as the world’s largest free-standing structure. It checks in at 553.3 meters. The 200-story tower is designed by Giorgio Armani. There are 37 office floors, 1,044 apartments and 160 hotel rooms. It also has the world’s highest mosque and swimming pools on floors 76 and 158. The tower is surrounded by a man-made lake, where the world’s tallest fountains are running to the music of opera, Arabian and Indian music.

What an incredible architectural phenomena! What do you think?

Solomon Islands Earthquake

Today, two big earthquakes have struck near Solomon Islands. The first one was felt at 8:48 AM local time with a magnitude of 6.5. Another one followed, this time stronger, with a 7.2 magnitude recording at 9:36 AM. There are no warnings posted on the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center web site and no reports of injury or damage.

The Solomon Islands archipelago, about 2,500 kilometers east of Australia, lies in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and experiences frequent seismic tremors.

Let's hope there won't be any injuries...