| First Photograph Ever Taken – 1826(0)|
Long before the first public announcements of photographic processes in 1839, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a scientifically-minded gentleman living on his country estate near Chalon-sur-Saône, France, began experimenting with photography. Fascinated with the craze for the newly-invented art of lithography which swept over France in 1813, he began his initial experiments by 1816. Unable to draw well, Niépce first placed engravings, made transparent, onto engraving stones or glass plates coated with a light-sensitive varnish of his own composition. These experiments, together with his application of the then-popular optical instrument, the camera obscura, would eventually lead him to the invention of the new medium.
In 1824 Niépce met with some degree of success in copying engravings, but it would be two years later before he had success utilizing pewter plates as the support medium for the process. By the summer of that year, 1826, Niépce was ready. In the window of his upper-story workroom at his Saint-Loup-de-Varennes country house, Le Gras, he set up a camera obscura, placed within it a polished pewter plate coated with bitumen of Judea (an asphalt derivative of petroleum), and uncapped the lens. After at least a day-long exposure of eight hours, the plate was removed and the latent image of the view from the window was rendered visible by washing it with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum which dissolved away the parts of the bitumen which had not been hardened by light. The result was the permanent direct positive picture you see here—a one-of-a-kind photograph on pewter. It renders a view of the outbuildings, courtyard, trees and landscape as seen from that upstairs window.
An ultimately doomed attempt to interest the Royal Society in his process—which he called "Heliography"—brought Niépce and the first photograph to England in 1827. Upon his return to France later that year, he left this precious artifact with his host, the British botanist and botanical artist, Francis Bauer, who dutifully recorded the inventor's name and additional information on the paper backing of the frame that held the unique plate. Niépce formed a partnership with the French artist, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, in 1829, but produced little more work and died, his contributions chiefly unrecognized, in 1833.
Thereafter, the nineteenth century would see the first photograph pass from Bauer's estate and through a variety of hands. After its last public exhibition in 1898 it slipped into obscurity and did not surface for over half a century. It was only in 1952 that the photohistorian, Helmut Gernsheim, was able to follow the clues, establish the work's provenance, and discover where descendants of the plate's last recorded owner had forgotten that it was stored away. He verified the photograph's authenticity, obtained it for his collection, and returned Joseph Nicéphore Niépce to his rightful place as the first photographer. When Harry Ransom purchased the Gernsheim Collection for The University of Texas at Austin in 1963, Helmut Gernsheim subsequently donated the Niepce heliograph to the institution. It is this heliograph—the world's earliest-known, permanent photograph from nature—that remains the cornerstone not only to UT's Photography Collection but also to the process of photography which has revolutionized our world throughout nearly two centuries. Because of its uniqueness and its significance to the fine arts and humanities, it is among the world's and The University's rarest treasures.
The First Photograph, housed in its original presentational frame and sealed within an atmosphere of inert gas in an airtight steel and plexiglas storage frame, must be viewed under controlled lighting in order for its image to be visible. In general, this procedure also requires viewing within a darkened environment free of other incidental light sources. This effect, suggestive of Gernsheim's fIrst viewing of the mirror-like effect of the pewter plate, attempts to give each viewer the chance to experience the effect of discovery from which the image can be seen to seemingly emerge from the original heliograph plate.
The first attempt to reproduce the First Photograph was conducted at Helmut Gernsheim's request by the Research Laboratory of the Eastman Kodak Company in Harrow, England, in March of 1952. After three weeks of work utilizing strong side lighting, high contrast film and the identical angular displacement of the camera and enlarger lenses, the lab produced this copyprint. However, because of the sharpness of the lens and the camera's objective nature of precisely copying the texture and unevenness of the plate itself, Gernsheim declared this negative-like version to be a "gross distortion of the original" and forbade its reproduction until 1977.
This most famous reproduction of the First Photograph was based upon the March 1952 print, produced at Helmut Gernsheim's request by the Research Laboratory of the Eastman Kodak Company in Harrow. The pointillistic effect is due to the reproduction process and is not present in the original heliograph. Gernsheim himself spent eleven hours on March 20, 1952, touching up with watercolors one of the prints of the Kodak reproduction. His attempt was meant to bring the heliograph as close as possible to a positive representation of how he felt Niépce intended the original should appear. It is this version of the image which would become the accepted reproduction of the image for the next fifty years.
The view, made from an upper, rear window of the Niépce family home in Burgundy, in the village of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes near Chalon-sur-Saône. Representationally the subject matter includes [from left to right]: the upper loft (or, so-called "pigeon-house") of the family home; a pear tree with a patch of sky showing through an opening in the branches; the slanting roof of the barn, with the long roof and low chimney of the bake house behind it; and, on the right, another wing of the family house. Details in the original image are very faint, due not to fading—the heliographic process is a relatively permanent one—but rather to Niepce's underexposure of the original plate.
When Niépce left England in 1827, he gave his host and sponsor, Francis Bauer, FRS, many materials relating to his work, including the First Photograph. Bauer, ever the dutiful scientist and friend, added two important inscriptions on the paper backing of the original frame that held the piece:
Monsieur Niépce's first successful
Bauer also signed his name and address, Kew Green, at the bottom of this record. The denotation of the year of 1827 is generally accepted as Bauer's reference to the date of presentation and not as the year of Niépce's production of the plate. Helmut Gernsheim himself favored the 1826 date as the year of its creation.
Fifty years after its rediscovery by Helmut Gernsheim, Niépce's First Photograph received critical scientific diagnosis, when it traveled to the Getty Conservation Institute in California. For over two weeks in the summer of 2002, scientists and conservators at this prestigious facility subjected the artifact, its frame, and support materials to extensive and rigorous non-destructive testing. The result was a very complete scientific and technical analysis of the object, which in turn provided better criteria for its secure and permanent case design and presentation here in the lobby of the newly-renovated Ransom Center.
The plate also received extensive attention from the photographic technicians at the Institute, who spent a day and a half with the original heliograph in their photographic studios in order to record photographically and digitally all aspects of the plate. The object was documented under all manner of scientific lights, including infrared and ultraviolet spectra. In addition, the photographers also followed in the footsteps of the Kodak Labs a half century earlier and produced new color film and digital/electronic copies of the plate, in an attempt to reveal more of the unretouched image while still providing a sense of the complex physical state of the photograph.
Source: Amazing Facts
| New Home for an Old Church(0)|
Heuersdorf is a small German town near Leipzig. The entire town is being abandoned as a nearby lignite, or brown coal, mine expands. The community decided to save the 13th-century Emmaus Church and move it to another place. The area surrounding the church was cleared and cracks within the building's structure were repaired with concrete. Engineers then wrapped the church in four steel corsets and painstakingly put a steel-and-concrete base under the church. The church was lifted using hydraulic lifts to make room to move in an enormous, multi-wheeled transport bed. Additional preparations for the €3 million move included repairing roads, diverting small rivers and taking down power, phone and traffic lines. After the 12 km (7.5 mile) trip that lasted 6 days it has been relocated to the nearby town of Borna, right next to one of that town's churches.
| Bar Refaeli in a tiny string bikini(0)|
Her career as a swimsuit model made her famous and bagged her an actor boyfriend.
So it's no surprise that Bar Refaeli feels confident showing off her figure in a tiny bikini as she holidays in Mexico.
Former Sports Illustrated star Bar, 25, looked slightly curvier than usual in her patterned bikini, which struggled to contain her abundant curves. She later covered up in the hot sun with a denim shirt.
Bar's boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio didn't join the Israeli model by the pool, instead she chatted to a group of friends.
According to sources, the Hollywood star is planning on tying the knot with his girlfriend of five years.
Apparently Leo has been looking at converting to Judaism and even made several secret trips to Israel to learn more about where Bar comes from.
‘Leo’s sudden intense interest in Israel, its culture and religion is the clearest sign yet that he intends to marry Bar,’ said a source.
‘He has been staying with her in a hotel in Tel Aviv for a few days at a time recently so that he can avoid the photographers outside her apartment in a nearby suburb.
‘Now he is looking into converting for her.’
For months rumours have swirled that the 36-year old has secretly proposed to Bar.
But it appears the couple didn't spend Christmas together - Leonardo was spotted on Boxing Day in Los Angeles, where he took a private tour of the LA County Museum Of Art Museum.
| In pictures: 10 Guinness world records with a Christmas theme(0)|
1. Largest collection of Santa Claus memorabilia: Jean-Guy Laquerre (Canada) has 25,104 different items of Santa Claus memorabilia, as of 30 November 2010, that he has been collecting since 1988. His collection includes 2,360 figurines, 2,846 cards and postcards from 33 counties, 1,312 serviettes and 241 pins and brooches.
2. Largest gathering of Santa’s elves: Nearly 800 people in Bridgend, south Wales, set a new world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Christmas elves. The previous world record of 607 was set in New York City in December 2009.
3. Largest Santa: A Santa measuring 15.6 m (51 ft) high, 11 m (36 ft) wide and 4 m (13 ft) deep stood at the entrance to the Tanglin Mall, Singapore, from November 10, 1996 to January 3, 1997. It weighed 2.5 tonnes and was constructed from polyfoam and metal.
4. Oldest Christmas tree: Every year, Janet Parker of Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK, puts up her Christmas tree, which was purchased – possibly from Woolworths – for her Great Aunt in 1886. Standing 30 cm (12 in) high in an ornate pot, it gets decorated with cherubs and the Virgin Mary.
5. Largest Christmas stocking: The largest Christmas stocking measured 32.56 m (106 ft 9 in) long and 14.97 m (49 ft 1 in) wide (heel to toe) and was made by the Children’s Society (UK) in London, UK on 14 December 2007
6. Largest advent calendar: The largest advent calendar is 71 m (232 ft 11 in) high and 23 m (75 ft 5 in) wide and was built at St Pancras station, London, UK, to commemorate the station’s refurbishment in December 2007
7. Fastest marathon dressed as Santa Claus: The fastest marathon dressed as Santa Claus is 2 hr 55 min 50 sec and was achieved by Paul Simons (UK) at the Flora London Marathon, London, UK, on 26 April 2009
8. Most Christmas Number One singles in the UK chart: The Beatles have had four festive number ones: ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ which went to No.1 on 12 December 1963, ‘I Feel Fine’ (10 December 1964), ‘Day Tripper/We Can Work it Out’ (16 December 1965) and finally ‘Hello Goodbye’ (6 December 1967)
9. Largest gathering of Santa Clauses: The largest gathering of Santa Clauses was achieved by 13,000 participants in the Guildhall Square in Derry City, Northern Ireland, UK, on 9 December 2007
10. The most Christmas trees chopped in two minutes is 27 by Erin Lavoie (USA) achieved on the set of Guinness World Records in Germany, on 19 December 2008
| Chic Clothing Made from Recycled Cigarette Butts(0)|
Chilean designer Alexandra Guerrero has been experimenting with what just may be the last thing anyone would think of as clothing material: cigarette butts. At first thought, that may sound over the top, or like it’s just meant to grab headlines, right? But the most surprising thing about the initiative is that the resulting pieces made from butts blended with wool look promising–cool even.
Turning Dirty Cigarette Butts into Wool
Clothing and Objects Made from Recycled Cigarette Butts
Even soap can be made from purifies cigarette butts!
This might not be the ultimate solution to the huge problem of cigarette litter (4.3 trillion butts are discarded a year; they never fully degrade and only begin to break after 12 years, according to ButtsOut), but neither is it a bad way to raise awareness about what can be done with otherwise dreadful waste material.
| World’s Most Expensive Military Aircrafts(2)|
As the military technology advances, these most expensive military aircraft in the world were created. For the need of more powerful means of defense, flying military technology are developed. Even creating a highly cost military equipment is not debatable by some people as it’s wasting government’s money, but the show must go on. Here’s the Top 10 most expensive military aircraft ever made in the world.
1. B-2 Spirit
The B-2 bomber was so costly that Congress cut its initial 1987 purchase order from 132 to 21. (A 2008 crash leaves the current number at 20.) The B-2 is hard to detect via infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual or radar signals. This stealth capability makes it able to attack enemy targets with less fear of retaliation. In use since 1993, the B-2 has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
about $2.4 billion
2. F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor is a stealth fighter aircraft made by the United States. It was originally envisioned as air superiority fighter for use against Soviet aircraft, but the aircraft is equipped for ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence. This aircraft through a long development period, is named the prototype YF-22, three years before it was officially adopted F/A-22 named, and finally given the name of the F-22A when used on the official start in December 2005. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapons, and assembling the F-22. Then his partner, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems provides the wings, avionics equipment, and pilot and maintenance training.
about $350 million
3. C17A Globemaster III
C-17 Globemaster III is a military transport aircraft of the United States are manufactured by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and operated by the United States Air Force, Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force. This aircraft has been also selected by the Canadian Military and planned for delivery in 2007. NATO is also planning to order this type of transport aircraft.
about $328 million
4. P-8A Poseidon
Boeing’s spruced-up military version of its 737 jet will be used by the Navy to conduct anti-submarine warfare and gather intelligence. It can carry torpedoes, missiles, depth charges and other weapons. The P-8A is expected to go into service in 2013.
about $290 million
This high-tech helicopter project, intended to replace the President’s aging chopper fleet, was running more than 50% over budget by the time Barack Obama took office. Soon after his Inauguration, the President announced plans to scrap the helicopters because of cost overruns. On July 22, however, the House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved restoring $485 million to fund the Kestrels.
about $241 million
6. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
A major step forward for surveillance and reconnaissance, the Advanced Hawkeye’s powerful new radar system will increase the range of territory an aircraft can monitor by 300%. “It can probably watch the pistachios pop in Iran,” an analyst for the think tank Lexington Institute told National Defense in July. Though development of the plane is on track and two test versions have been delivered to the Navy, budget cuts may keep the planes grounded for at least a year longer than planned.
about $232 million
7.F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine, stealth-capable military strike fighter, a multirole aircraft that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air defense missions. The F-35 has three different models; one is the conventional takeoff and landing variant, the second is short takeoff and vertical-landing variant, and the third is a carrier-based variant.
The F-35 is descended from the X-35, the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Its development is being principally funded by the United States, with the United Kingdom, and other partner governments providing additional funding.It is being designed and built by an aerospace industry team led by Lockheed Martin with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as major partners. Demonstrator aircraft flew in 2000, with the first flight on 15 December 2006.
about $122 million
8. V-22 Osprey
Wide reach, speed and flexibility are qualified, it is desired by all aircraft designer. No exception to the V-22. V-22 is not just ordinary aircraft or helicopter, but the combination of both. Twice the speed, reach further five times, and can fly higher than twice the usual helicopter.
It was first used in combat in Iraq in 2007.
about $118 million
9. EA-18G Growler
Boeing EA-18g-based carrier has the ability to disrupt communications and radar systems, signals, and attacked anti aircraft radar on the ground. Old versions of these aircraft has been used in Iraq to disable a trigger signal in the roadside bomb.
about $102 Millions
10. F/A-18 Hornet
F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter is designed to be able to attack both ground and air targets, and have the ability to be placed on the aircraft carrier. The aircraft is designed for the Navy and the United States Marine Corps, and is used also by Canada, Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.
This aircraft is also demonstrator aircraft for the Blue Angels since 1986.
about: $94 million
| Could You Live In A Glass House?(0)|
As you can see, all four sides of the home are glass. Many people would not to live in glass houses because they think that it's really complicated.
When you live in a glass house, the first thing you must avoid is a gravel yard or driveway. Even with the convenience and savings. Glass and rocks do not mix. The temptation is too great, when you live in a glass house!
A person who decides to live in a glass house will need to avoid the temptation to be a neat freak. If the glass is too clean, the neighbor might run to say hello when you're inside thinking you are in the yard. The UPS truck might deliver right to your couch, if you live in a glass house. You also run the risk of a visitor trying to traverse through a wall.
The beauty of when you live in a glass house, though you cannot hide or pretend that you are not home, when a salesperson or Jehovah Witness comes to your glass door, there are advantages to them seeing you through the door and walls. If you live in a glass house when this occurs, you just go into your cheerleader routine holding up placards that convey messages such as "I gave at the office", "I have a contagious disease", "Did you see my big dog out there anywhere?", or even "Go away".
The fact that you live in a glass house effectively eliminates what you can do in the privacy of your own home. You have to watch what sort of cable or movie videos you watch on your giant TV screen. If you live in a glass house, and the neighbors do not approve of what you are doing, you might find the law at your front door. If this happens, there is no place to hide, so don't even try, if you live in a glass house.
| World’s Tallest Windmills in Sciedam, Holland(0)|
Holland is famous for its windmills, so no one will be surprised to learn that the world’s tallest windmills are to be found here. However, few Dutch, let alone tourists, will be able to tell you where they stand. And people might not even believe it when told that they are not out in the fields, but in heart of the most densely populated areas on the globe, near the second largest port in the world.
This picture shows the three northernmost windmills: De Vrijheid (The Liberty), De Noord (The North) and De Nieuwe Palmboom (The New Palm Tree). They are all built up against the canal wall. When they were constructed, in the late 1700s, this was the edge of town and the canal was the outer moat.
Schiedam lies to the west of Rotterdam, from where it is easily reached by public transport. Surrounded by 20th-century commercial and residential areas is the small yet charming 18th century town center, looking like a pocket-size Amsterdam. At the western edge of Schiedam’s old center, lined up along the former outer canal, stand the world’s five tallest windmills.
This picture shows the windmill De Vrijheid towering over the buildings on either side of the street you enter to reach it.
Their location explains their height. When the windmills were built, between 1770 and 1803, they stood in what was then the edge of town and the industrial area. They were built for the grinding of grain needed for the distillation of gin, then Schiedam’s main industry. To catch as much wind as possible, they were made to stand high above the city, which came to lie at their feet.
De Vrijheid from close quarters. It is still in operation, grinding grain for both specialized bakers and the distillery across the street, which produces a top-quality Dutch jenever. The windmill is not open to the public, but the distillery, De Tweelingh, offers guided tours.
In those days the canal was a moat, and the other side of the moat only flat farmland. That area started being built early in the 20th century, and now it is a semi-urban area of little architectural distinction. The result of this development for the windmills is that they are now surrounded by buildings and are part of the urban landscape. The highest windmills in the world stand in the middle of town.
Heading north, the next two windmills come into sight: De Noord and De Nieuwe Palmboom.
These five windmills are what remain of an original twenty, the others having been made redundant by steam engines. In 1880, those twenty mills ground grain for the nearly 400 distilleries that made the famous jenever of Schiedam, where more gin was produced than in any other city in the world. Schiedam can no longer make that claim, but two of the five remaining windmills do still grind grain for the jenever industry. The blades of the other three windmills still turn as well, but only for show. Three of the five can be visited to see the interior: one houses a shop, one a museum and the third a restaurant.
Of the five highest windmills in the world De Noord is the tallest. The structure stands 33.3 meters (109 ft) tall, while the tips of the blades reach to 44.5 meters
In 1981 the Schiedam Windmills Society was founded. The Society’s aim is to assist in the operation and maintenance of these unique windmills, which had previously been badly neglected. In celebration of the Society’s 25th anniversary, on April 28 and 29 the blades of all five windmills will turn non-stop for 25 hours.
The entrance to the restaurant located in De Noord. Customers should realize that there are no windows to look out of from inside while dining.
De Nieuwe Palmboom seen from one of the surrounding streets. The blades of this mill do turn, but only to please visitors, as the building now houses a museum dedicated to the five windmills.
The two southernmost windmills: De Drie Koornbloemen (The Three Cornflowers) and De Walvisch (The Whale).
Windmill Picture: De Drie Koornbloemen seen from a canal in the old town center.
Windmill Picture: The former miller's dwelling addition to de Drie Koornbloemen is still in use as a home.
Windmill Picture: De Walvisch seen from Schiedam's main canal.
The antique bicycle on permanent display next to the shop entrance gives the false impression that a baker's apprentice is inside buying flour. The actual customers are either amateur bread bakers or tourists on souvenir hunt.
A view of the interior of De Walvisch. The flour for sale is ground in this very windmill, by a mechanism above the visitor's head. There are also various souvenirs for sale.
Seen from the south the Walvisch is reflected in the water of the canal. Not only is the windmill in full operation grinding grain to flour, the building also houses a shop where the flour can be bought.
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