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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Awesome Facts About Owls

Owls are awesome. It’s an undeniable fact. They are expressive, they are diverse, they are stealthy and their heads are on a swivel. Below you will find 10 interesting facts and a collection of photographs that capture these beautiful creatures. Enjoy!

Owls belong to the Order Strigiformes.

The Order Strigiformes is further divided into two families, the barn owls (Family Tytonidae) and the typical owls (Family Strigidae). Owls are a diverse group of birds, with over 220 species of owls belonging to the Order Strigiformes.
Owls are birds of prey.

Owls feed on a wide variety of prey including mammals, other birds, insects, and reptiles. There are even some species of owls that live in Africa and Asia that feed on birds. Owls cannot chew their prey since, like all birds, they do not have teeth. Instead, they swallow small prey whole and must tear larger prey into smaller pieces before swallowing. They later regurgitate pellets of indigestible material such as bone, fur, and feathers.

The structure of an owl’s foot is referred to as zygodactyl.

This means that two of the toes face forward while two face backward. This arrangement enables the owls to capture and grasp prey with greater ease. Sometimes, the third toe can be rotated forward into a position occasionally used for perching.

Most owls are nocturnal.

Most owls are active at night. A few species (such as the pygmy owls) are active in the early morning or at dusk while some (such as the burrowing owl and the short-eared owl) are active during the day.

Owls’ eyes are fixed in their sockets.

Owls are unable to move their eyes within their sockets to a great extent, which means they must turn their entire head to see in a different direction. Because owls have forward-facing eyes, they have well-developed binocular vision. Contrary to popular myth, an owl cannot turn its head completely backwards. It can turn its head 135 degrees in either direction; it can thus look behind its own shoulders, with a total 270-degree field of view

Many species of owls have special flight feathers adapted for silent flight.

Owls have developed special feather adaptations that enable them to minimize the sound made when flapping their wings. For instance, the leading edges of their primary feathers have a stiff fringes that reduces noise while the trailing edge of their primaries have soft fringes that helps to reduce turbulence. Downy feathers cover the surfaces of the wing to further reduce sound.

Owls create a variety of vocalizations.

Owls create a wide variety of sounds or vocalizations. The familiar hoot is usually a territorial declaration, though not all species are able to hoot. Other sounds owls might make include screeches, hisses, and screams.

Owls are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of Greenland and some remote islands.

Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament.
Owls are farsighted and are unable to see anything clearly within a few centimeters of their eyes.

Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes, which are small hair-like feathers on the beak and feet that act as “feelers”. Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good.


- http://twistedsifter.com/2010/08/10-facts-about-owls/

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

World's biggest mango fruit

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sky Farms

15 Living Walls, Vertical Gardens & Sky Farms ecology
future sky farm
A living wall, also referred to as a green wall, vertical garden, or sky farm, is usually part of a building and consists of some sort of vegetation. These types of gardens are sometimes referred to as urban gardening, because they are well-suited for an urban environment where space on the ground is very limited but vertical space is plentiful. These vertical gardens can be quite spectacular in appearance, and in some cases, they even work to filter clean air into the building in which they are growing upon.
Vertical gardens can be grown on just about any type of wall, with or without the use of soil, and they can be placed both on outdoor and indoor walls. As long as there is not shortage of water for the living wall, no soil is required. These amazing sky farms are able to literally bring life to an old rundown building in the middle of the city and they are becoming increasingly popular inside office buildings, homes, and retail stores because of their outstanding beauty and their natural air purification properties.
Living walls have fast become an art form for many people, and one of the pioneering vertical garden artists is Patrick Blanc. He observed how plants were able to grow vertically without the need for soil in the wild, and soon developed a way to create artistic looking vegetation walls that were both lightweight and needed little maintenance. Since these living walls only weighed approximately 30 kg or less per square-meter, he noticed that just about any type of wall would be able to support the weight of a vertical garden. There are many amazing examples of vertical gardens around the world. Here’s our list of some of the most creative and beautiful living walls in the world. We may have missed some of course, but please feel free to drop any we’ve missed in the comments.
Musee du quai Branly, Paris, France
This popular French museum near the Eiffel Tower in Paris is home to one of the best examples of vertical garden work by artist Patrick Blanc. The living wall here is about 200 meters long and 12 meters tall. The museum’s living exterior was at one time healthy and vibrant, but today you can see signs of the inadequate support for irrigation and drainage of the garden – although it still remains breathtakingly beautiful.
musee du quai Branly
Musee du quai Branly
Musee du quai Branly
Sky Farm, Las Vegas
A proposed $200 million sky farm in the city of Las Vegas would be the world’s first 30-story vertical farm. This building would have 30 floors of indoor farm land, and it is estimated that a vertical farm such as this one could produce enough food to feed 72,000 people per year. This proposed vertical sky farm would grow approximately 100 different crops, and would bring in an estimated $40 million in annual revenue via produce sales and tourism to the one-of-a-kind structure. This sky farm is only in the preliminary stages of design, and it could quite a while before this awesome vertical farm is actually built (if ever).
sky farm, las vegas
sky farm las vegas
SkyFarm, Toronto, Canada
A new vertical farm in the downtown area of Toronto, called SkyFarm, could help to feed 35,000 area residents each year. The advantage of the SkyFarm is that the proposed building would only require about 1.32 hectares of land for the 58 story building to sit on. However, it will have about 8 million square-feet of growing space for crops, bringing in the same amount of produce as a 420 hectar farm. The 714 feet structure would bring in an estimated $23 million of revenue each year.
sky farm toronto
skyfram toronto
Residence Antilia, Mumbai, India
This new eco-building is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008, and upon its completion will hold the world record for the largest and tallest living wall, not just in India, but on the planet. This 200 meter tall building, called Residence Antilia, will feature vertical gardens all the way up its exterior walls. Costing, $1 billion, the revolutionary design will make it not only the world’s greenest skyscraper, but also one of the most unique and beautiful structures in the world.
residence antilla mumbai
residence antilla mumbai
NEXT: See the amazing living wall system in Japan and the spectacular vertical farms of paris
Pages: 1 2 3
15 Living Walls, Vertical Gardens & Sky Farms ecology” />
NEXT: living walls and sculptures of Madrid, Bangkok and Bilbao and the future of vertical gardens.
Parabienta Living Wall System, Japan
This living wall is manufactured and marketed by two Japanese companies that have created a product that is lightweight, cheap, and very functional. The living wall is called ‘Parabienta‘, and it costs approximately $60 per square foot. This eco-friendly wall will significantly cool down a building through a naturally occurring cooling process that takes place within the plants – otherwise known as shade.
parabienta living wall
parabienta japan
Paris, France – A Vertical Garden Mecca
The ‘city of love’ is a sort of vertical garden hotspot, and it’s becoming increasingly popular and mainstream to ‘decorate’ a bland wall with a plethora of beautiful plants, whether it be for artistic purposes or for more functional eco-friendly intentions. Much of the reason that Paris is such a vertical garden mecca is the fact that one of the founding fathers of the art form, Patrick Blanc, lives there. He, and other living wall artists have created some amazing vertical gardens in France’s capital city.
Foundation Cartier
The plant wall at the entrance of the Foundation Cartier has not been trimmed since it was planted back in 1998. The only maintenance of this beautiful garden involves a gardener coming in about every 2-3 months to remove dead leaves, or whole plants, and replace them with new ones.
foundation Cartier
BHV Homme
The vertical garden at this popular Parisian department store literally adds life to the back of BHV Homme in Paris. This artistic living wall almost resembles an abstract painting from afar.
Pics: 1, 2
bhv homme
bhv homme
Pershing Hall Hotel
Nestled in the courtyard of the Pershing Hall Hotel is a 30 meter high vertical garden that features over 250 different plant species. It’s quite a site, to say the least!
Pics: 1, 2
pershing hall hotel
pershing hall hotel
Club Med Champs-Elysees
The small vertical garden at this Club Med in Paris is designed to represent plants from 5 different continents. The addition of the vertical garden at this Club Med location is all part of a plan to create a more upscale feel for the already first-class resort. The garden is visible from outside and is beautifully lit at night.
Pic: 1
club med eschamps
NEXT: living walls and sculptures of Madrid, Bangkok and Bilbao and the future of vertical gardens.
Pages: 1 2 3
15 Living Walls, Vertical Gardens & Sky Farms ecology” />
CaixaForum, Madrid, Spain
As the newest museum in Madrid, CaixaForum certainly takes innovation to the next level before you even walk into the place. One of the exterior walls features a huge 24 meter high vertical garden with over 15,000 plants from more than 250 different species. This artistic display is one of the finest examples of living walls anywhere in Spain.
Pics: 1
caixa forum madrid
caixaforum madrid
Vertical Gardens, Bangkok, Thailand
The vertical gardening phenomenon is spreading like wild fire across the globe, and it’s no different in Bangkok, Thailand. Check out these photos of two great examples of vertical gardening. The first two photos are at the Siam Paragon Shopping Center, and the second is a cool example of how strategically placing plants vertically alongside an elevator shaft at the Emporium Bangkok can add a nice decorative touch.
Pics: 1
bangkok vertical gardens
bangkok vertical gardens
vertical gardens in bangkok
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
In front of the Guggenheim Art Museum you’ll find an awesome example of vertical gardening in the depiction of a puppy made entirely out of plants. The artist, Jeff Koons, created this 43-foot tall “plant puppy” in the mid-1990s using a steel substructure and a variety of plants. The detail of this piece is amazing.
Pics: 1, 2
gugenheim museum bilbao
gugenheim museum bilbao
ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall, Japan
The 100,000 square foot rooftop at the ACROS Fukuoka building is definitely one-of-a-kind. The 18 story building features 15 stepped terraces that can actually be climbed to the top. The terraces are meant to promote a serene and peaceful environment in the middle of the city with lots green plants and even waterfalls and small pools to add to the calming effect of the building’s extraordinary exterior.
acros fukuoka prefectural
acros fukuoka prefectural
Living Walls, Netherlands
This building is a great example of how you can spice up a boring exterior and turn it into a living and breathing wall. The plants are growing in a thin layer of felt and rock wool material instead of soil. Recycled rain water is pumped through this material to provide nutrients to the root systems of the plants.
Pic: 1
living walls netherlands
Future Vertical Sky Farm Designs
The idea of being able to save valuable space on the ground and to farm vertically has intrigued many designers, architects, and government officials. Sky farming saves space on the ground, can provide a year-round crop, and can be placed in the middle of the busiest cities in the world. With overpopulation, rocketing food prices and the migration to cities, traditional farming could soon become obsolete. This poses an interesting question: could these futuristic and green utopic visions become the standard, the new way to farm in the future?

Source : amazingdata.com


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Strange Buildings Around The World

This impressive collection of unusual houses and buildings was picked from all over the world. Just an architects fantasy from incredibly cool to totally weird.



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