Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Fall of the Minoans

More than two thousand years ago, the Greek historian Plato wrote about Atlantis, the fabled civilization that was swallowed by the sea. But the origins of Plato’s story have never been identified. It is only recently that some archaeologists have begun to believe the legend may have started on Crete. They are hoping that scientific investigation can provide an actual link to Plato’s ancient folk memory.
The island of Santorini after the Theran eruptionFive thousand years ago, the Minoans, Europe’s first great civilization, flourished on the island of Crete. The sophisticated inhabitants, named after the legendary King Minos, were the first Europeans to use a written language, known as Linear A, and the first to construct paved roads. They were an advanced society of highly-cultivated artisans and extremely skilled civic engineers. The Minoans were excellent ship builders and sailors, and their maritime empire was so vast, it rivaled that of the ancient Egyptians. They were an enigmatic people, worshiping snake priestesses and engaging in human sacrifice with origins not linked to Europe as expected, but to ancient Iran, which may explain why they were so different from the Greeks who rose to power after them. Such practices gave rise to Greek myths about the Minotaur, a half-man half-bull that ate human flesh in his forbidding labyrinth. But inexplicably, at the height of their power, the Minoans were wiped from the pages of history. The reason for their disappearance has perplexed historians for generations — until now.

The island of Santorini, 70 miles north of Crete, was home to the wealthy Minoan seaport of Akrotiri, a place where the wall paintings discovered portray their landscape with happy animals and farmers harvesting saffron. But the Minoans had built their prosperous city on one of the most dangerous islands on earth, next to the volcano Thera. Around 1600, B.C., Akrotiri was shaken by a violent earthquake. Some time later, an eruption occurred. The Theran eruption was one of largest in human history — blasting more than 10 million tons of ash, gas, and rock 25 miles into the atmosphere. Incredibly, despite Crete’s close proximity to the volcano, the debris from Thera largely missed the major Minoan towns.
On Crete, strange and chaotic layers of soil, broken pottery, building materials, and even cattle bones can be found along the eroding coastline near the ancient town of Palaikastro. With the help of soil scientist Hendrik Bruins, archaeologist Sandy McGillivray discovers that the soil also contains micro-organisms that are normally found only on the ocean floor. The only way they could have been deposited on land is by a powerful tsunami. The presence of Theran pumice that could only have been washed ashore on Crete by powerful waves seems to indicate that the volcano caused the tsunami, and carbon dating of a cow bone found in the chaotic layer of sediment confirms that it was deposited there around 1600 B.C., the same time that Thera erupted.
Minoan ruinsArchaeologists are only now beginning to understand what happened in the decades that followed. One of the most remarkable clues is a small statue that was found in Palaikastro. It was discovered in an archaeological layer deposited a hundred years after the disaster. A statue made of ivory tusks, gold with a serpentinite head, a prime example of one of the great masterpieces of Minoan art, which has been vandalized, suggests ritualized violence against the Minoan culture. Additional signs of such deliberate destruction have been found in other places on the island. Archaeologist Maria Vlasaki believes the answer lies in an unusual cemetery in Chanea. The bodies have been dated to the period of widespread unrest in the Minoan world. Similar bodies have been found near Knossos as well. Their weapons were not Minoan—they resembled those used by the ancient Peloponnese Greeks. The invaders from the Greek mainland slashed and burned their way across Crete, overwhelming the weakened Minoans. The tsunami not only left the Minoans ripe for an attack, it gave the Greeks an important military advantage.
Minos of Crete Best View

Minos of Crete

Minos was the son of Zeus and Europa and king of Crete prior to the Trojan War. He was a heroic and just king who built up Crete’s navy. Said to have built the Labyrinth to contain the Minotaur, Minos died in Sicily when the daughter of the King of Agrigentum poured boiling water over him in the bath

At long last, the story of the Minoan disappearance has been unearthed. Five thousand years after it hit, an epic natural disaster can be blamed for their collapse. A wave that washed away an empire is strikingly reminiscent of a mystical city that sank beneath the waves. And though we may never know for sure if Crete was Atlantis, we at least have an explanation for the downfall of Europe’s first great civilization

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't Mess With Old Guys

An older gentleman had an appointment to see the urologist who Shared offices with several other doctors. The waiting room was filled with patients.

As he approached the receptionist’s desk, he noticed that the receptionist was a large unfriendly woman who looked like a Sumo wrestler. He gave her his name.

In a very loud voice, the receptionist said,

All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at the very embarrassed man.
He recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied,


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ultimate Facts Abouts Men And Women

  1. All men are extremely busy.
  2. Although they are so busy, they still have time for women.
  3. Although they have time for women, they don't really care for them.
  4. Although they don't really care for them, they always have one around.
  5. Although they always have one around them, they always try their luck with others.
  6. Although they try their luck with others, they get really pissed off if the woman leaves them.
  7. Although the woman leaves them they still don't learn from their mistakes and still try their luck with others.
  1. The most important thing for a woman is financial security.
  2. Although this is so important, they still go out and buy expensive clothes and stuff.
  3. Although they always buy expensive clothes, they never have something to wear.
  4. Although they never have something to wear, they always dress beautifully.
  5. Although they always dress beautifully, their clothes are always just "an old rag".
  6. Although their clothes are always "just an old rag", they still expect you to compliment them.
  7. Although they expect you to compliment them, when you do, they don't believe you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Some Double Meaning Website Names

Site: (Foul-mouthed British kids?)

Is really: (Clothes for tykes)

Site: (A huge steaming pile?)
Is really: (Oldie songs -- now abandoned)

Site: (Damn: Am I really gone?!)
Is really: (Funeral home run by the Amigone Family)

Site: (I'm comfortable with my butt?)
Is really: (Okan Japanese restaurant in San Diego, United States)

Site: (Kid lovers in the Carolinas?)
Is really: (Carolana Pediatric Dentistry -- which has changed its name to Triangle Pediatric Dentistry, at! Yeah, really!)

Site: (For all your butt hat needs?)
Is really: ("As Seen on TV" stuff)

Site: (B&D site?)
Is really: (Spanish tourism site)

Site: (Appreciation for dames who swing both ways?)
Is really: (Big Al's Bowling Alleys -- one in Vancouver, and one in Beaverton)

Site: (The worst case of sick building syndrome?)
Is really: (The high-rise Hugh O'Neill built)

Site: (Buy a little blue pill?)
Was really: (Long-established graphics site, abandoned because of Viagra)

Site: (I thought the French demanded good food?)
Is really: (French scrapbooking site)


Site: (Stick your buns together?)
Is really: (Diaper rash ointment)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oresund Underwater Bridge between Sweden to Denmark

Underwater bridge made from Sweden to Denmark. Amazing man made wonder.

The Oresund Bridge is a combined two-track rail and four-lane road bridge-tunnel across the Oresund strait. It is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe and connects the two metropolitan areas of the Oresund Region: the Danish capital of Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmo. The international European route E20 runs across the bridge and through the tunnel via the two lane motorway, as does the Oresund Railway Line. The construction of the Great Belt Fixed Link and the Oresundsbron have, together, enabled one to drive from Mainland Europe to Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia. The bridge was designed by the Danish architectural practice Dissing + Weitling.


Construction of the crossing began in 1995. It was finished on 14 August 1999. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden met midway on the bridge to celebrate the completion. The official inauguration took place on 1 July 2000, with Queen Margrethe II, and King Carl XVI Gustaf as guests of honour. The crossing was opened for public traffic later that day. On 12 June 2000, before the inauguration, 79,871 runners competed in a half marathon (Broloppet, the Bridge Run) from Amager (Denmark) to Sweden. In spite of two major disasters - 16 unexploded World War II bombs on the sea bed and a skewed tunnel segment - the crossing was finished 3 months ahead of schedule.

Initially, the crossing was not used as much as expected, probably because of the high cost. However, 2005 and 2006 saw a rapid increase in traffic. This may have been due to Danes buying homes in Sweden - to take advantage of lower house prices in MalmO - and commuting to work in Denmark. In 2008, to cross by car cost DKK 260, SEK 325 and 36.30, although discounts up to 75% are available for regular users. In 2007, almost 25 million people travelled over the bridge: 15.2 million by car and bus, and 9.6 million 

The Oresund bridge crosses the border between Denmark and Sweden, but thanks to the Schengen Agreement, there are no passport controls. However, there are frequent customs checks at the toll booths on the Swedish side for those entering Sweden, but not for those entering Denmark.
Inside of the Bridge

Bridge features 

At 7,845 m (25,738 ft), the bridge covers half the distance between Sweden and the Danishisland of Amager, the border between the two countries being 5.3 km (3.3 mi) from the Swedish end. The structure has a mass of 82,000 tonnes and supports two railway tracks beneath four road lanes in a horizontal girder extending along the entire length of the bridge. On both approaches to the 3 cable-stayed sections, the girder is supported every 140 m (459 ft) by concrete piers. The 2 pairs of free-standing cable supporting towers are 204 m (669 ft) high allowing shipping 57 m (187 ft) of head room under the main span. Even so, most vessels prefer to pass through the unobstructedDrogden Strait above the Drogden Tunnel. The 490 m (1,608 ft) cable-stayed main span is the longest of the type in the world. A girder and cable-stayed design was chosen to provide the rigidity necessary to carry heavy railway traffic. 

Bridge between Denmark and Sweden ( Satelite view )

The cost for the entire Oresund connection construction, including motorway and railway connections on land, was calculated at DKK 30.1 billion according to the 2000 year price index, with the cost of the bridge paid back by 2035. In 2006 Sweden began spending a further SEK 9.45 billion on the MalmO City Tunnel as a new rail connection to the bridge; it is due for completion in 2011.
The connection will be entirely user financed. The owner company is owned half by the Danish government and half by the Swedish government. This owner company has taken loans guaranteed by the governments to finance the connection, and the user fees are the only incomes for the company now. After the increase in traffic these fees are enough to pay the interest and begin paying back the loans, which is expected to take about 30 years.
The tax payers have not paid for the bridge and the tunnel. However, tax money has been used for the land connections. Especially on the Danish side the land connection has domestic benefit, mainly connecting the airport to the railway network. The MalmO City 
Tunnel has the benefit of connecting the southern part of the inner city to the rail network, and allowing many more trains to and from MalmO. The existing station is a bottleneck limiting the number of trains, so that people have to stand onboard some trains, especially over the Oresund Bridge, and the passenger figures are still increasing.

The construction
 started in 1995 and FamousSweden to Denmark bridge first was opened for traffic in July 2000 Oresund Bridge is one of Europe's largest bridges, It has a length of about km ( 7845 meters or 4,9 miles ) . Besides Sweden to denmark bridgesupported with 560 meters of viaduct at thePepparholm Island ( artificial island ). 

Since 2000 a total of more than 12000 vehicles and 50 thousand people cross it daily or it is approximately 4,5 million vehicles and 19 million people yearly!

Although still the traffic across Sweden toDenmark bridge rises for approximately 11%a year, it is expected for the bridge to be fully paid in 2035