The Abu Simbel temples are two massive carved rock temples at Abu Simbel (أبو سمبل in Arabic), a village in Nubia, southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to prevent their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.
Nymphoides peltata (syn. Villarsia nymphaeoides, Fringed Water-lily, Yellow Floating-heart, Water Fringe) is an aquatic plant of the family Menyanthaceae native to Eurasia. It has cordate floating leaves that support a lax inflorescence of yellow flowers with fringed petal margins. The fruit is a capsule bearing many flattened seeds with stiff marginal hairs.The plants are commonly sold for use in ornamental water gardens. Outside their native range, however, they can escape cultivation and become nuisance noxious weeds. Fringed Water-lily is an aquatic plant that grows well in shallow fresh-water like canals and ponds or slow moving streams. It differs from true water-lilies in that the flowers are smaller and that they are projecting above water level on short 8 cm stalks. Also in that it has five petals which are frayed or fringed around the periphery. The leaves float on water, from which long stems dangle. The leaves are normally oval in appearance with a shiny appearance from above, sometimes with purple spots, and purple below. This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus or, inaccurately, koala bear) is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae, and its closest living relatives are the wombats. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body; round, fluffy ears; and large, spoon-shaped nose. The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm and weighs 4–15 kg. Pelage colour ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown. Koalas from the northern populations are typically smaller and lighter in colour than their counterparts further south. It is possible that these populations are separate subspecies, but this is disputed.
Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep for up to 20 hours a day. They are asocial animals, and bonding exists only between mothers and dependent offspring. Adult males communicate with loud bellows that intimidate rivals and attract mates. Males mark their presence with secretions from scent glands located on their chests. Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young that crawl into their mothers' pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their life. These young koalas are known as joeys, and are fully weaned at around a year. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites but are threatened by various pathogens, like Chlamydiaceae bacteria and the koala retrovirus, as well as by bushfires and droughts.
Koalas were hunted by indigenous Australians and depicted in myths and cave art for millennia. The first recorded encounter between a European and a koala was in 1798, and an image of the animal was published in 1810 by naturalist George Perry. Botanist Robert Brown wrote the first detailed scientific description of the koala in 1814, although his work remained unpublished for 180 years. Popular artist John Gould illustrated and described the koala, introducing the species to the general British public. Further details about the animal's biology were revealed in the 19th century by several English scientists.
Because of its distinctive appearance, the koala is recognised worldwide as a symbol of Australia. Koalas are listed as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Australian government lists populations in Queensland and New South Wales as Vulnerable. The animal was hunted heavily in the early 20th century for its fur, and large-scale cullings in Queensland resulted in a public outcry that initiated a movement to protect the species. Sanctuaries were established, and translocation efforts moved to new regions koalas whose habitat had become fragmented or reduced. The biggest threat to their existence is habitat destruction caused by agriculture and urbanisation.
The Tijuana Cultural Centre (CECUT) is a cultural centre in the Zona Río district of Tijuana, Mexico. The centre opened 20 October 1982, and accommodates more than a million visitors per year. A major feature of the complex is an OMNIMAX cinema designed by architects Pedro Ramirez Vazques and Manuel Rossen Morrison. It is the only IMAX cinema in Tijuana, and has come to be popularly known as La Bola (“The Ball”). The cinema, which uses a 360-degree projector to surround viewers with a panoramic image, has 308 seats. The OMNIMAX cinema has been part of the cultural centre since the complex first opened in 1982. In October of that year, it premiered the film “El pueblo del sol”, which was made especially for the cinema’s opening. The film presents images from the most representative regions of Mexico, and got very good reviews. It was the cinema's only film for 13 years. Today, the centre offers a daily selection of films; it premieres about four films per year.
The centre encompasses a large esplanade that accommodates up to 6,000 people. The esplanade is a venue for performances, festivals, and expos. There is also permanent exhibition, called “Museo de las Californias”, which stores over 200 pieces and is a walk through the history of the Baja Peninsula and the state of California from the prehistoric period until the first half of the 20th century. Also a pre-Hispanic garden, called “Jardin Caracol” (Snail Garden), that contains sculptures from the different regions of the mesoamerican cultures that inhabited south Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish Army. Visitors can have the experience of going through the exhibition while enjoying a coffee since there is a little coffee shop in the garden.
There is also a scenic theatre, which has a room for around a thousand visitors and it is mostly used for private concerts and plays. There are also lecture rooms, video room, café, and a bookshop. There are several spaces for temporary small exhibits. In September 2008, on the eve of its 26th anniversary, CECUT opened its doors to a brand new building called “El Cubo” (The Cube), so named because of the contrast between the nickname of the OMNIMAX cinema “The Ball”. This represented the very important opportunity for CECUT to start receiving International Exhibitions, and since then it has been the home for exhibitions that have traveled from other countries including Buda Guanyin, Gabriel Figueroa, Alice Rahon, Venus en Tijuana, Proyecto Civico, and Animated Painting among others.
Nowadays this important institution has different programs for all ages, since classes for early stimulation for kids around 2 months and 2 years, plastic arts and artisan workshops for children from 5 to 15 years and concerts, conferences, movies, documentaries, exhibitions, and all kind of services for the whole family to enjoy the day and spend a nice time learning. CECUT is a short distance from the Mexico–United States border at San Ysidro, San Diego.
An apparatus using mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task: A complex machine with many small moving parts is difficult to fix if it breaks down.
Mid-16th century (originally denoting a structure): From French, via Latin from Doric Greek makhana (Greek mēkhanē, from mēkhos ‘contrivance’).
The Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea. Although once considered to be three separate species, it is now considered to be one, with nine recognised subspecies. A member of the Artamidae, the Australian magpie is classified in the butcherbird genus Cracticus and is most closely related to the black butcherbird (C. quoyi). It is not, however, related to the European magpie, which is a corvid.
The adult Australian magpie is a fairly robust bird ranging from 37 to 43 cm in length, with distinctive black and white plumage, gold brown eyes and a solid wedge-shaped bluish-white and black bill. The male and female are similar in appearance, and can be distinguished by differences in back markings.The male has pure white feathers on the back of the head and the female has white blending to grey feathers on the back of the head. Juveniles are blotchy grey as the youngster on the right in the first photo and the one in the second photo. With its long legs, the Australian magpie walks rather than waddles or hops and spends much time on the ground.
Described as one of Australia's most accomplished songbirds, the Australian magpie has an array of complex vocalisations. It is omnivorous, with the bulk of its varied diet made up of invertebrates. It is generally sedentary and territorial throughout its range. Common and widespread, it has adapted well to human habitation and is a familiar bird of parks, gardens and farmland in Australia and New Guinea. This species is commonly fed by households around the country, but in spring a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always males) become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests. Magpies were introduced into New Zealand in the 1860s but have subsequently been accused of displacing native birds and are now treated as a pest species. Introductions also occurred in the Solomon Islands and Fiji, where the birds are not considered an invasive species.
The Australian magpie is the mascot of several Australian sporting teams, most notably the Collingwood Magpies and Port Adelaide Magpies. There are several names given to a group of magpies, but perhaps the most descriptive is “a parliament.” The birds have earned this title as a result of their often appearing in large groups in the Spring, looking stately and cawing at each other.