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2015年 08月 20日
Travelling abroad and seeing the world is a great thing – driving abroad…less so. Still, if you choose to take your car, rather than booking a cheap airport transfer, there are all kinds of strange things that you’ll see…
If you hate musical car-horns, you’ll love Greece!
Multi-tone horns are illegal in Greece, so if your car plays a kitschy version of La Bamba every time you need to alert a motorist to your presence, you may want to try and avoid driving in this country! But at least, after a long flight, you’ll be able to relax during your airport transfer without being serenaded by an orchestra of naff car horns!
White paint sales take a massive rise as lines appear on roads in Canada
The first white lines to divide road lanes appeared in Canada in 1930 near the Quebec/Ontario border. The person who came up with the idea we all take for granted now was an Ontario Transport Department engineer by the name of John D. Millar, who proposed the idea to improve road safety.
You haven’t seen gridlock until you’ve been to Japan
There are more vehicles per square kilometre in Japan than anywhere else in the world, unsurprisingly. The runner up for the most crowded place to drive abroad is a bit more surprising though – the Netherlands! So whether you hire a car or take a cheap airport transfer to get to your destination, be prepared for a long wait in gridlocked traffic in these countries.
1769: France presents the world’s first car! With speeds of up to 6kmph, this will never catch on…
1769 saw the world’s first “car” being built. Strictly for military usage, the steam powered machine was built to move cannons. Being incredibly heavy and only managing a top speed of 6 kilometres per hour, it’s perhaps no surprise that these new fangled car things failed to catch on outside of the army.
Holy cow! Watch out for road cattle in India
When you’re driving in India, if you’re stuck behind a slow moving bovine, you just have to sit it out. The cow is the country’s holy animal, and can’t be hit, moved or bumped if it’s in your way. So if you take an airport transfer or a taxi in India and your driver makes no effort to shift a cow out of the road, he isn’t just trying to run up the meter!
That’s not just a bridge – it’s a throwback to the Portuguese revolution!
When driving over the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon, you’re on a structure seeped in glorious history. The “April 25th Bridge” is so named after the 1974 revolution, which ended on that day. It was previously named the Salanzar after the dictator before the revolution.
Tennis on Turkey’s bridge to Asia (presumably not a draw bridge!)
Here’s an unusual use for a road – a tennis match involving a Grand Slam world champion. On May 15th 2005, the Bosphorus bridge in Turkey hosted the world’s first tennis match to be played across a continental border! Venus Williams played a 5 minute show game against Turkish player Ipek Senoglu with one in Asia and the other Europe to promote the 2005 WTA Istanbul Cup.
Visible from Space: The Great Wall of China… and Belgium’s motorway
It’s well documented that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space, but according to Belgium’s Federal Affairs website, so can the Belgian motorway! More accurately, its lighting can be – astronauts refer to the glow generated as ‘the Belgian window.’
You may need to cram before your driving theory test in Spain!
If you thought the introduction of a driving theory test in England was a pain for anyone learning to drive, spare a thought for those trying to get to grips with Spain’s highway code – which has three times as many driving laws and rules to learn as the UK version. It contains in-depth areas on first-aid, car maintenance and vehicle loads.
Better stock up on car sweets for this one…
If you were to drive for 4 years consecutively at 100mph, you may make your carbon footprint bigger, but you still wouldn’t have covered every road in the USA!
Okay, these driving facts may not help you with your travels abroad (though some of them may push you towards a cheap airport transfer instead), but they are unusual enough to be entertaining – who knows, they may win you a pub quiz one day!
Bruno Calzaverini is the managing director of Shuttle Direct. Providing a cheap airport transfer at many of Europe’s top destinations, the company can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.Qajzlcf.dll
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| 2015-08-20 14:01
2015年 08月 15日
Downtown Oakland is the core area of the central business district in Oakland, California roughly bounded by Jefferson Street on the northwest, Harrison Street on the southeast, 6th Street on the southwest and Grand Avenue on the northeast.
The downtown area is expanded to refer to the residential and industrial Jack London warehouse district and Jack London Square areas, Lakeside Apartment District on the west side of the Lake Merritt, Oakland’s Chinatown, Civic Center district as well as the south end of Oakland’s Broadway Auto Raw area.
The Jack London Square is a famous tourist attraction on Oakland, California’s waterfront.Owned by Port of Oakland and named after Jack London, it houses hotels, restaurants, stores, a ferry dock, an Amtrak station, a movie theater and the Hienold’s First and Last Chance Saloon.
Downtown Oakland houses a condominium and apartment dwellers, tall modern office buildings, numerous retail businesses, shorter mixed-use historic buildings, the hubs of BART and AC Transit.
Downtown Oakland Airport Inns
Executive Inn and Suite is one of the popular inn hotels near the Oakland International Airport.The hotel is about 5 minutes away from Downtown Oakland’s Historic and Business District, Chinatown, Convention Center and Jack London Square entertainment venues and restaurant.The property provides courtesy shuttle services from the hotel, Oakland airport, Alameda, Jack London Square and Downtown Oakland itself.This property also provides a complimentary 24-hour business center with printers and computers.Other hotel amenities include meeting rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, banquet facilities, spa tub, fireplace in the lobby and Internet access in the public areas.
The hotel offers 224 furnished guestrooms and suites.All rooms include video-game consoles, microwaves and compact refrigerators while suites include safes, large desks with ergonomic chairs, separate sitting areas and 32-inch cable televisions.
The hotel’s complete address is 1755 Embarcadero in Oakland, California.For more information, call them at (510) 536-6633 or fax them at (510) 536-6006.For reservations, you can also call (800) 346-6331.
Best Western Airport Inn and Suites is a 3-storey hotel situated close to many of Oakland’s tourist sites.Attractions close to the area include the McAfee Stadium, Alameda Beaches, Oakland Zoo, the Jack London Square, San Francisco Convention Center, Great America Theme Park and the Six Flags Marine World.The hotel is just a mile away from the Oakland International Airport, 15 miles away from the San Francisco International Airport and 30 miles away from the San Jose International Airport.The hotel provides a complimentary continental breakfast which is served every morning, an indoor swimming pool, exercise facility and courtesy shuttle.
Other hotel amenities include meeting facilities, banquet facilities, a business center, fax services, photocopy services and high-speed Internet access.Guestrooms at this hotel feature cable satellite televisions, in-room movies, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers and work areas or desks.Other room amenities include irons and ironing board, AM and FM alarm clocks, hair dryers, dataports and high-speed Internet connectivity.The complete address of this hotel is 170 Hegenberger Loop in Oakland, California.For additional information, call them at 510-633-0500 or fax them at 510-633-1040.
For more information on Oakland Hotels and Downtown Oakland Hotels please visit our website.Error 1068 Windows 7
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| 2015-08-15 22:14
2015年 08月 15日
We had one last holiday with just the two of us before the birth of our first child and it was either head up north to get away from the cold Melbourne winter, or head across to the Flinders Ranges and do a charter flight over Lake Eyre. After some discussion it was decided that due to the massive rains that occurred in Western Queensland earlier this year, the phenomena of Lake Eyre in flood was just to good an opportunity, and so it was West we were heading.
After a brief stopover in Adelaide to pick up the folks, we travelled North along the back roads through country towns such as Burra and Peterborough. The scenery was stunning, with rolling green hills and derelict stone huts left over from when the first settlers moved into the area. Our first three nights were booked into Rawnsley Park Station, a working station that has ventured into tourism, with caravan and camping grounds, self contained huts and eco villas.
Our first day was for exploring the Flinders Ranges as the last time I was there was 24 years ago as a young teenager on a family holiday. We ventured into Wilpena Pound and went for a nice stroll down to Hills Hut and back, a hut that was built by the first pastoralists that came into Wilpena Pound and has been restored to its former glory. After some lunch we then drove the Morlana Scenic Drive, a dirt road that runs through the Flinders Ranges from West to East. The country side was just stunning, and with the sun setting behind us the red rocks just came alive.
The second day was our flight over Lake Eyre and we were down at the bush runway early as we were all anxious to start our journey. The pilot was running a little late as there was ice covering the plane this morning after an extremely cold evening, but it wasn’t long before we were in the air and flying over the Flinders Ranges. To see the Ranges from the air was stunning, with the massive Wilpena Pound and the Ranges heading North, with flat open land on either side and Lake Torrens off in the distance, with a layer of water in it from recent rains in the area. As we left the Ranges and flying over the desert, there was a green tinge covering the land and large waterholes still filled with water from the recent rains.
A couple of hours later we were flying over Lake Eyre, and what an incredible site it was. While the South Lake did have some water in it, it was the North Lake where the flood waters from Queensland had arrived. The ever changing colours where the water was lapping at the edge of the salt lake, to the deep reds where the bacteria was forming, to the deeper channels where the water was flowing down from the rivers. When you looked North there was no distinction in the horizon from where the water and sky merged as one, where from 500 feet the Lake disappeared into the distance. This incredible sight is the result of rains that occurred months beforehand hundreds of kilometres away, with vast volumes of water bringing life to a region where normally there is very little life.
After flying across the Lake for 25 minutes and only covering half of the area, it was time to fly over to the William Creek Pub for lunch. If you haven’t been to William Creek, the place is on the Oodnadatta Track and consists of a pub, a caravan park, and a house where a charter flight company operates out of to fly tourists over Lake Eyre who are driving along the Oodnadatta Track.
After lunch the pilot flew us over the South Lake and then back down across the desert and the Flinders Ranges. Lake Eyre may only get water to the levels we saw 3 or 4 times in ones lifetime, and to see it in its full glory was a sight we are glad we witnessed.
This article on Lake Eyre is brought to you by Lyndon Sparrow Australian Outback Travel GuideMicrosoft Downloads Error
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| 2015-08-15 22:13
2015年 08月 13日
Excerpt from Sanjaya Malakar
Top 10, Season 6
Singing is everything to me and my sister. It's in our blood and in our souls.
The first time I remember performing was during an assembly when I was four. I sang, "I'm a Little Teapot." But my mom told me that I really preferred doing Fred Astaire dance moves and singing songs like, "Steppin' Out with My Baby." I guess I have an old soul. When you're hardly out of diapers, you usually prefer songs from Barney. I preferred songs from Singin' in the Rain. My mom said she thought maybe I was the incarnation of Fred Astaire.
I was never like everyone else in school either. I wasn't much of a student; I preferred to entertain. My second-grade teacher moved my desk outside the classroom because I would spontaneously burst into song and distract the other kids. She thought that if she put me where I could still hear her, but I didn't have an audience, I might be able to learn something. I don't think it worked, because school is still not my thing. If my sister gets a B, she feels like she's failed; if I get a C, I think, Wow, cool. I passed.
When I was eight we moved to Kauai, and my mom put us into Children's Theater. My first show was Oliver! and my second was Bugsy Malone. I played Fizzy the janitor. I had a solo, and every night when I would hit the high note, I would receive a standing ovation. You've gotta love that more than social studies.
At first, my mom didn't want me to audition for Idol. She thought I wasn't ready and that I should wait a year. I couldn't understand why; she'd always been so supportive of me, but I realize now that she somehow knew that once I stepped into the world of American Idol, I would never be able to just walk through a shopping mall or go to a concert or do any of those normal things ever again.
Before our first audition, while we were in the big arena, two ladies on the American Idol staff asked Shyamali and me if we were brother and sister. We told them we were, but we didn't audition together or make a big we're-brother-and-sister deal. We even had someone in line between us.
I didn't make it through the first round but my sister did. I love Shyamali so much and was so happy for her. I believe that there's a master plan, and I thought that my making it through just wasn't part of it.
Then the strangest thing happened.
Shyamali went in for her second audition with the executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe. When he put her through, he said, "So it looks like you're going to be in competition with your brother."
"No," she said. "Sanjaya got cut."
Nigel looked confused for a moment and then called over his assistant.
After asking her some questions, he said, "What? Well, find him!"
Apparently, those ladies who had seen us in the arena had told him, "When you audition the Indian girl, she comes with a brother."
So I went in and sang for Nigel.
"You have to work on your stage presence," he said, "but I'm going to let you through."
I stood there in shock for a second and then ran out to tell my sister. We were ecstatic.
When I sang in front of Paula, Simon, and Randy, they asked who I thought was a better singer.
"Shyamali," I answered honestly. They said they thought she was the better performer, but I was the better singer. I still disagree. I have a more powerful voice, but my sister has this smooth, sultry jazz voice. She sings perfectly.
It was hard in Hollywood when I got through and my sister didn't, but I know that she'll be a star. She'll just get there in a different way — and I'll do everything in my power to help make that happen.
Throughout my journey on Idol, there have been a lot of ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments. But the hardest part has been the judges' comments. Nobody likes to hear, "You're horrible," or, "You look like a bush baby." Getting that kind of criticism night after night, week after week, could wear anybody down.
I decided that I wasn't going to let it get to me. Instead of taking their words to heart, I took the constructive criticism and left the rest. I just wouldn't put the negative things in my head. At a certain point I decided, I'm going to do this for myself and the audience. I'm not even going to try to get the judges' votes. I'm just going to be myself and hope America likes me.
I think America does. And that's good for a lot of reasons.
My mom says it's good because I don't represent the black community or the white community — but rather the brown community — which includes pretty much the majority of the people in the world. I think it's good for people to see someone like me. It's good for people in more isolated communities to feel like they know, and like, someone who is different from anyone they've ever met in their real lives.
And then there’s my name. Sanjaya is Sanskrit, and the vibrational quality is supposed to bring to the person who speaks it the love and protection of the universe. So even when people say, "Sanjaya stinks; he should go home," they're drawing a good and positive vibration to themselves.
Who knows, I might even be making a difference for people on some higher level. I like that thought.
And one other thing . . . Stevie Wonder is my role model. He never let his apparent "disability" get in the way of his success, and he has always stayed true to himself in his life and his music. I wish I could have sung Stevie Wonder on the show, but the judges said it was too big for me. I think if I sang "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" they would have liked it — but it's cool. I have a long career ahead of me, and I know that someday, somewhere, I'll get to sing some Stevie. I think maybe I'll wear my pony hawk when I do.
(Reprinted with permission from Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul: Stories from the Idols and their Fans that Open Your Heart and Make Your Soul Sing).
(Note to iSnare Editor: Our client Debra Poneman is author of the book Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. The book contains first person accounts of the hit TV show from contestants, fans and behind the scenes crew members. The piece above is from one of the contestants, Sanjaya. We have Debra's permission to offer these excerpts from her book to iSnare.)
Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul is a collection of captivating stories that the television cameras don't see - true, uplifting, and entertaining tales told with humor and candor. Visit Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul.Computer Shutdown Virus
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| 2015-08-13 10:14