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Saturday, April 30, 2011
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at 11:31 PM
Those who tuned into it shouldn't have been disappointed:- it was pageantry galore at the Royal Wedding in London yesterday, something the English excel in, and this is the sight that many thronged The Mall to see. The 1902 State Landau the newlyweds are seated in was built specifically for King Edward VII in 1902 to be used at his Coronation. It is the carriage in most general use at the Royal Mews and is usually used by The Queen to meet Foreign Heads of State when they arrive on State Visits to Britain.
at 12:33 PM
Best known as the Belgium port for ferries to and from England, this "east end" city with a present day population of about 70,000 received vacation visits from the Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II in the 19th century. Important monuments and villas were built to please the Royal Family. The rest of aristocratic Belgium followed and soon Ostend became known as "The Queen of the Belgian sea-side resorts". The town hosted all but one of the sailing events for the 1920 Summer Olympics in neighbouring Antwerp .
In 1838 a railway connection with Brussels was constructed and in 1846 the first ferry sailed to Dover. Nowadays ferries, both passenger and freight, connect with Ramsgate.
at 11:45 AM
The former Sydney harbour ferry Kosciuscko is seen on the Derwent River leaving the Elizabeth Street Pier for Bellerive, Hobart, in 1975.
The hire of Sydney ferries for this crossing was necessitated by the damage caused to the Tasman Bridge in the evening of 5 January 1975 when a bulk ore carrier travelling up the Derwent River collided with several pylons of the bridge causing a large section of the bridge deck to collapse onto the ship and into the river below. Twelve people were killed, including seven crew on board the ship, and the five occupants of four cars which fell 45 metres (150 feet) after driving off the bridge. The disaster severed the main link between Hobart and its eastern suburbs. The repaired bridge wasn't opened until 8 October 1977.
Kosciuscko is also the name of the highest mountain in Australia, 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) above sea level.
at 7:56 AM
The Porsche 928 was a sports-GT (gran turismo or grand tourer) car produced from 1978 to 1995. Strictly speaking, the 928 was more GT than sports car. Designed in 1971 as the eventual replacement for the 911, production of the 928 was delayed until late 1977 as a 1978 model. As such, it lays claim to being the first front-engine, water-cooled Porsche despite the 924's introduction two years before that of the 928. The 928 attempted to combine the power, poise, and handling of a sports car with the refinement, comfort, and equipment of a luxury sedan to create what some Porsche executives thought would be a vehicle with wider appeal than the compact, quirky and sometimes difficult 911. The 928 was often referred to as a "shark" due to its shape, pop up headlights and the ability to "eat up miles".
As prices inflated in the late 1980s and into the 1990s, sales of the big Porsche fell off leading to its eventual abandonment in 1995. Not many were sold in North America. Over its entire production span, the 928 went through one significant body change. In 1987, the fourth generation S4 shape was smoothed out for better aerodynamics, given flush tail lights, and a new wing. Only the nose and tailcap changed. The mechanicals were periodically upgraded, but the layout and all features remained basically the same.
Since its inception in 1949, Porsche has manufactured only six front-engined models, four of which were coupes, including the 928. The car has the distinction of being the company's only coupe powered by a front-mounted V8 engine, and the company's first mass-produced V8 powered model.
Engine displacement: 4.5 litre (approx. 275 cubic inch)
Bosch K-Jetronic injection
Power: 240 hp (177 kW) (219 hp or 163 kW in North America)
Torque: 363 N·m (268 ft·lbf)
at 7:44 AM
Friday, April 29, 2011
A 1:18 scale model of this car, considered by some to be the most beautiful produced before WW2, is now available. The makers say it took 1,700 parts mounted by hand for each model.
The Atlantic body Type 57S featured flowing coupe lines with a pronounced dorsal seam running front to back. It was based on the "Aérolithe" concept car of 1935. Like the Type 59 Grand Prix car, the Aérolithe used Elektron (a magnesium alloy) or Duralumin (an aluminium alloy) for its body panels. Therefore, the body panels were riveted externally, creating the signature seam. The production Atlantics (just four were made) used plain aluminium, however. But the dorsal seams were retained for style, and led to the car's present fame. Only two of the cars survive. One is in the collection of Ralph Lauren, the second was owned by Dr. Peter Williamson, and won the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Williamson's car (#57374) was sold for between $30 and $40 million at an auction in May 2010 to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California.
The model isn't cheap, $US 360, but one of the actual cars would be extremely expensive.
at 4:29 PM
|colored photo from the 1890s|
One of the great railway stations of Europe, completed in 1889, Amsterdam Centraal Station or CS occupies a central place in Amsterdam as the name suggests. It is situated on three artificial islands, which rest on 8,687 wooden piles driven deep into the mud and sand.
The current location of the station is not the site the city of Amsterdam had originally hoped for; other possibilities included somewhere near the Leidseplein, the Weesperplein, or in the vicinity of the modern-day Sarphatipark. Officials in Den Haag, however, felt that the eventual location at the head of the city was the best location. This was highly controversial as it effectively cut off Amsterdam from its own waterfront, making it, for all purposes, an inland city. Nevertheless, the building of the Central Station in front of the open harbour was forced through by the railway department of the Ministry of Transport and the Interior Secretary, Thorbecke. The plan made its way through the Amsterdam municipal council by a narrow majority.
It is now used by about 250,000 passengers daily.
at 9:33 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Built in Turku / Åbo, Finland, Oasis of the Seas was handed over to owners Royal Caribbean in 2009 and on 5 December 2009 sailed on her maiden voyage. Able to carry over 6,000 passengers (a new record), she was joined by sister ship Allure of the Seas in December 2010. Both ships cruise the Caribbean from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and surpass the Freedom-class cruise ships (also owned by Royal Caribbean) as the world's largest passenger ships.
Specfications:Tonnage: 225,282 GRT
Length: 361.8 m (1,187 ft) overall;
Beam: 47 m (154 ft) waterline; 60.5 m (198 ft) extreme
Height: 72 m (236 ft) above water line
Draught: 9.3 m (31 ft)
Depth: 22.55 m (74 ft
Decks: 16 passenger decks
3 × Wärtsilä 12V46D engines (13,860 kW/18,590 hp each)
3 × Wärtsilä 16V46D engines (18,480 kW/24,780 hp each)
3 × 20 MW ABB Azipod, all azimuthing
4 × 5.5 MW Wärtsilä CT3500 bow thrusters
Speed: 22.6 knots (41.9 km/h; 26.0 mph)
Capacity: 5,400 passengers at double occupancy; 6,296 maximum
at 11:03 AM
For most of the people in the European countries he occupied after 1945 it was a case of "meet the new boss, just as bad as the old boss." In fact in a lot of ways he was even worse. In 1948, George Orwell was prompted to write his 1984 novel about his nature, thinly disguised.
However, not everyone in Russia is happy about the new revisionism - more on the Russia Today website.
at 12:46 AM