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Jan 31, 2010

World's Largest High Definition Video Screen

Cowboys Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially-covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, as the Cowboys' home. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the 3rd largest seating capacity stadium in the NFL.

The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world's largest column-free interior and the largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, religious ceremonies, basketball games, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, Motorcross races and rodeos similar to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Video screen

A highlight of Cowboys Stadium is its gigantic center-hung high-definition television screen, the largest in the world, sometimes referred to as "Jerry-Tron". The 160-by-72-foot (49 by 22 m), 11,520-square-foot (1,070 m2) scoreboard surpasses the 8,736 sq ft (812 m2) screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri as the world's largest.

The screens were developed by Mitsubishi's Diamond Vision Systems. Each center-hung sideline display consists of 10,584,064 LEDs, consuming some 635,000 watts. Because each pixel consists of four LEDs (2 red, 1 green, 1 blue), the 2,176 X 4,864 LED distribution corresponds to a 1,088 X 2,432 pixel resolution, the equivalent of 1080p. However the image can actually be considerably sharper than the resolution suggests, because Diamond Vision's "Dynamic Pixel" technology allows the corner LEDs of four neighboring pixel clusters to function as a pixel cluster together, providing virtual pixels between each physical pixel.

During the debut preseason game of Cowboys Stadium, a punt by Tennessee Titans punter A. J. Trapasso hit the 2,100 in. screen above the field. The punt deflected backwards and was ruled in-play until Titans coach Jeff Fisher informed the officials that the punt struck the scoreboard. By rule, the down was replayed. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones believes that Trapasso was trying to hit the scoreboard, saying "If you look at how you punt the football, unless you're trying to hit the scoreboard, you punt the ball to get downfield. You certainly want to get some hangtime, but you punt the ball to get downfield, and you sure don't punt the ball down the middle. You punt it off to the side." Whether the screen would affect an opposing teams punting strategy has been debated. For teams with strategies centered on maximizing hang-time, physicist Christopher Moore of Longwood University has shown via computer simulation that well-kicked punts have the potential to hit the screen no matter the field position. Trapasso disputed Jones' suggestion that he was intentionally trying to hit the board, and other NFL punters have suggested that the board may pose a problem for longer hang-time punts.

Guinness World Records was on hand at the September 28, 2009 game against the Carolina Panthers to award certificates to the Chairman of Mitsubishi Electric and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for the World's Largest High-Definition Video Display.

Cullinan Diamond - World's Largest Diamond Ever Found

The Cullinan diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g).

he largest polished gem from the stone is named Cullinan I or the First Star of Africa, and at 530.2 carats (106.0 g) was the largest polished diamond in the world until the 1985 discovery of the Golden Jubilee Diamond, 545.67 carats (109.13 g), also from the Premier Mine. Cullinan I is now mounted in the head of the Sceptre with the Cross. The second largest gem from the Cullinan stone, Cullinan II or the Lesser Star of Africa, at 317.4 carats (63.5 g), is the fourth largest polished diamond in the world. Both gems are in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

History

The Cullinan diamond was found by Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan, in what is today known as Gauteng, South Africa, on January 26, 1905. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine.

Sir William Crookes performed an analysis of the Cullinan diamond before it was cut and mentioned its remarkable clarity, but also a black spot in the middle. The colours around the black spot were very vivid and changed as the analyzer was turned. According to Crookes, this pointed to internal strain. Such strain is not uncommon in diamonds.

The stone was bought by the Transvaal government and presented to King Edward VII on his birthday. It was cut into three large parts by Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam, and eventually into 9 large gem-quality stones and a number of smaller fragments. At the time, technology had not yet evolved to guarantee quality of the modern standard, and cutting the diamond was considered difficult and risky. In order to enable Asscher to cut the diamond in one blow, an incision was made, half an inch deep. Then, a specifically designed knife was placed in the incision and the diamond was split in one heavy blow. The diamond split through a defective spot, which was shared in both halves of the diamond.

Anecdotes

In 1905, transport from South Africa to England posed a security problem. Detectives from London were placed on a steamboat that was rumoured to carry the stone, but this was a diversionary tactic. The stone on that ship was a fake, meant to attract those who would be interested in stealing it. The actual diamond was sent to England in a plain box via parcel post, albeit registered.

The story goes that when the diamond was split, the knife broke during the first attempt. "The tale is told of Joseph Asscher, the greatest cleaver of the day," wrote Matthew Hart in his book Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession, "that when he prepared to cleave the largest diamond ever known, the 3,106 carats (621 g) Cullinan, he had a doctor and nurse standing by and when he finally struck the diamond and it broke perfectly in two, he fainted dead away." It turns out the fainting story is a popular myth. Diamond historian Lord Ian Balfour wrote that Asscher was a very accomplished and competent cleaver, and that it was much more likely he opened a bottle of champagne, instead.

Rumours abound of a "second half" of the Cullinan diamond. According to Sir William Crookes the original, uncut diamond was itself "a fragment, probably less than half, of a distorted octahedral crystal; the other portions still await discovery by some fortunate miner." Crookes thus indirectly indicates that the original, larger crystal broke in a natural way and not by a man-made cut. Others have speculated that before Frederick Wells sold the diamond to Sir Thomas Cullinan he broke off a piece which sized in at about 1,500 carats (300 g) to 2,000 carats (400 g).

Glass copies of the nine diamonds cut from the Cullinan

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Jan 30, 2010

The Largest Human Baby Every Born

The largest human newborn baby ever to be recorded was parented by Anna Haining Bates on January 19, 1879, four days after going into labor. The baby weighed 10.6 kg or nearly 24 pounds and was 30 inches (71 centimeters) tall. Each of his feet was six inches (152 mm) long. Sadly, the child was only able to survive for 9 hours. I could not find a record of his name. Anna Haining Bates was a Canadian from Mill Brook, New Annan and was famed for her great height, believed to be 2.27 m (7' 5½"). She weighed around 400 pounds. When visiting a circus in Halifax in which Martin Van Buren Bates, another enormously tall person was travelling.

Anna was spotted by the promoter and hired on the spot. The giant couple became a touring sensation and eventually fell in love, thus creating the largest baby ever recorded. While Anna was giving birth the doctors noticed that the baby’s head was too large and that greatly complicated the delivery and helped lead to the child’s death.

Anna Haining Bates (left)

Anna Haining Bates (right)

Seagaia Ocean Dome - World’s Largest Indoor Waterpark

The Seagaia Ocean Dome is the world's largest indoor waterpark, located in Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan. The Ocean Dome, which is a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort, measures 300 metres in length and 100 metres in width, and is listed on the Guinness World Records. It opened in 1993, and visitor numbers peaked in 1995 at 1.25 million a year. Entrance cost was ¥2600 per adult and ¥1600 for children, depending on the season. The Ocean Dome was officially closed on October 1, 2007 as part of a renovation and partial re-branding of the resort. The renovations were completed on November 13th, 2009, and the dome has been reopened. Since the reopening of the waterpark, the amount of customers has nearly doubled, and the price has increased to ¥3000 per adult and ¥2000 per child.

The Ocean Dome sports a fake flame-spitting volcano, artificial sand and one of the world's largest retractable roof, which provides a permanently blue sky even on a rainy day. The air temperature was always held at around 30 degrees celsius and the water at around 28.


Source: 1, 2

Jan 28, 2010

NEOPLAN Jumbocruiser - World's Largest Bus

The NEOPLAN Jumbocruiser was an articulated double-deck multi-axle city coach built by NEOPLAN Bus GmbH between 1975 and 1992. It is only possible to move between the two parts via the upper deck, so they have separate doors and two sets of stairs.

Jumbocruiser Ltd., based near Bristol in England, have recently completed the total rebuild of the last Neoplan Jumbocruiser ever built. The coach had rolled over in an accident in Southern France, possibly due to a design flaw in the suspension, combined with a primitive turntable system.



Jumbocruiser Ltd. used the services of Richard Cœur de Lyon (now called the Caross Center) near Mons in Belgium to completely strip down the old coach and rebuild it to a more modern design, and with modified suspension. A modern digital turntable was prepared and fitted by HÜBNER in Germany. The internal combustion engine, gearbox, braking system, wiring looms, and even the dashboard were replaced and upgraded. The new dashboard is now a modernised semi-digital wrap-around unit, instead of the original rust-prone flat unit. Modern front and end caps were fitted, and were eventually reduced after they were found to be too wide.

By 2007, Jumbocruiser Ltd. began to market the bus as a "rock 'n' roll" star sleeper bus.




Source, Pics: Andreas Schneider, Thomas Umbach

Jan 27, 2010

Wandering Albatross - World's Largest Wingspan More Than 3.5 Metres

The Wandering Albatross, Snowy Albatross, or White-winged Albatross, Diomedea exulans, is a large seabird from the family Diomedeidae which has a circumpolar range in the Southern Ocean. It was the first species of albatross to be described, and was long considered the same species as the Tristan Albatross and the Antipodean Albatross. In fact, a few authors still consider them all subspecies of the same species. The SACC has a proposal on the table to split this species, and BirdLife International has already split it. Together with the Amsterdam Albatross it forms the Wandering Albatross species complex. The Wandering Albatross is the largest member of the genus Diomedea (the great albatrosses), one of the largest birds in the world, and is one of the best known and studied species of bird in the world.

The Wandering Albatross has the largest wingspan of any living bird, with the wingspan between 251–350 cm (8.2–11.5 ft). The longest-winged examples verified have been about 3.7 m (12 ft), but probably apocryphal reports of as much as 5.3 m (17 ft) are known. As a result of its wingspan, it is capable of remaining in the air without beating its wings for several hours at a time (travelling 22 m for every meter of drop). The length of the body is about 107–135 cm (3.5–4.4 ft) with females being slightly smaller than males, and they weigh typically from 6.25–11.3 kg (13.8–24.9 lb). Immature birds have been recorded weighing as much as 16.1 kg (35 lb) during their first flights. The plumage varies with age, with the juveniles starting chocolate brown. As they age they lose their color and get whiter. The adults have white bodies with black and white wings. Males have whiter wings than females with just the tips and trailing edges of the wings black. They also show a faint peach spot on the side of the head. The Wandering Albatross is the whitest of the Wandering Albatross species complex, the other species having a great deal more brown and black on the wings and body as breeding adults, very closely resembling immature Wandering Albatrosses. The large bill is pink, as are the feet. They also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.



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Jan 26, 2010

10 of the Most Expensive Hotel Rooms in the World

Most of us have simple demands when it comes to travel lodging– a bed, a bathroom, a TV and wi-fi. There are others, however, whose demands far eclipse the simple convenience of your basic hotel room. When the world’s most wealthy travelers take a vacation for their own, they are treated to suites that cover entire floors of a hotel building, rooms that include a personal butler, hell– some even come with their own private helicopter. Take a peek into the experience of the world’s most wealthy travelers. Here are 10 of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world.


1. $50,000 a night – Royal Villa at Grand Resort Lagonissi
Athens, Greece

The Grand Resort’s Royal Villa gives the world’s most exclusive guests a private version of everything imaginable. The only other people lucky guests have to see while secluded in their heated pool, steam room or private beach is the suite’s dedicated butler, chef and pianist.


2. $40,000 a night – Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy-themed suite at the Palms Casino resort has a $700,000 jacuzzi that cantilevers out above the Las Vegas strip. The 10,000 square-foot, two-story suite comes with around-the-clock butler service and a rotating bed set beneath a mirrored ceiling.


3. $34,000 a night – Ty Warner Penthouse, Four Seasons
New York

The Ty Warner Penthouse practically floats in Manhattan. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround all sides of the massive suite, surrounding guests in 360-degree views of the city skyline from atop Manhattan’s tallest hotel. The nine-room suite has walls inlayed with mother of pearl, gold and platinum-woven fabrics, and the room itself includes a private butler, unlimited global calling and TVs programmed to receive every channel in the entire world.


4. $33,000 a night – Royal Penthouse Suite, President Wilson Hotel
Geneva, Switzerland

President Woodrow Wilson reportedly suffered from high blood pressure, so it’s safe to assume he would have appreciated a stress-free stay at President Wilson Hotel’s Royal Penthouse Suite. Consuming the entire top floor of the hotel, the four-bedroom suite can hold up to 40 guests in its cocktail lounge and is said to be the best digs for heads of state wanting to make an impression when they’re in town on United Nations business.


5. $25,000 a night – Bridge Suite at The Atlantis
Paradise Island, Bahamas

The 10-room Bridge Suite at Bahamian resort The Atlantis fills the entire space linking the hotel complex’s two flagship towers. Forbes reports the suite has hosted guests including Oprah and Michael Jackson.


6. $18,200 – Ritz-Carlton Suite, The Ritz-Carlton
Moscow, Russia

Floor-to-ceiling windows outline the Ritz-Carlton Suite at the hotel chain’s Moscow location. Imperial furniture fills the 2,500 square-foot suite, which comes with a heated floor, a grand piano and a library. The suite has views of the Kremlin, Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral and visitors get to enjoy five meals a day and their very own KGB-approved autonomous energy supply system and secure telecommunications array.


7. $18,000 a night – Royal Suite, Burj Al Arab
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A two-story suite that centers around an epic staircase, Burj Al Arab’s Royal Suite has Carrara marble floors, mahogany furniture and a master bedroom with a rotating four-post canopy bed. Guests enjoy Hermes bathroom products, Faubourg fragrances, their own private elevator and cinema and for a bit extra– a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce or helicopter.


8. $17,500 a night – Royal Armleder Suite, Le Richemond
Geneva, Switzerland

Le Richemond’s Royal Armleder Suite reopened in 2007 after an extensive restoration of the hotel’s seventh floor, which the luxury suite occupies the entirety of. The suite is bedecked in gold, mosaics and parquet floors and has a 300 square-foot terrace with stunning views of Geneva and the nearby Alps.


9. $16,000 a night – Royal Suite, Four Seasons George V
Paris, France

The George V in Paris boasts a pair of “sumptuous” Royal Suites that each come with private terraces and rooms filled with antique furniture. Each suite has a marble entrance, a full kitchen, a sauna and a separate bathroom for guests. The expensive 2,600 square-foot suites are split into separate spaces for sleeping and entertaining, both of which also have a private office.


10. $15,500 a night – Imperial Suite, Park Hyatt-Vendôme
Paris, France

Situated on the second floor of the Park Hyatt-Vendôme’s Haussmanian building is the hotel’s 750 square-foot Imperial Suite. Thise pricey suite has high ceilings, a dining room, kitchenette and bar. When visitors tire of toiling, they relax with an “In Suite Spa” that comes outfitted with a steam room, Whirlpool and built-in massage table.

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Jan 25, 2010

Kiwi Bird - Largest Eggs In Proportion To Its Size

The chicken-sized species that make up the kiwi family Apterygidae exhibit many unusual traits. The wings are tiny and hidden within the soft, hairlike, gray-brown plumage, and the nostrils are located at the tip of the long flexible bill (rather than at the base, as with most birds). The legs are stout and muscular, with a large claw on each of the four toes. Kiwi are solitary and nocturnal; they live in the forests of New Zealand, sleeping in burrows during the day and foraging at night for worms, insects, and berries.

Kiwi eggs are huge with respect to the size of the mother: the female kiwi lays an egg equivalent to 15–20 percent of her body mass. In contrast, ostrich eggs equal a mere 2 percent of the female ostrich's weight, and a newborn human weighs just 5 percent of its mother's weight at birth.

DNA analyses in 1995 and 2003 redefined the kiwi family structure by identifying five distinct species. These are the North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli); the little spotted kiwi (A. owenii); the great spotted kiwi (A. haastii); the rowi (A. rowi); and the tokoeka kiwi (A. australis). The latter is further divided into numerous subspecies.



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