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10 U.S. Places to See Before You Die

Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence, Ore

Many people have a list of places they'd like to visit before they move on to the next world; here are a few American suggestions of my own.
For conversation's sake, I have avoided the obvious targets, but a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge or a trip up the Empire State Building is still definitely worth it.
Though we are lucky to live in a beautiful country, I have mostly focused on smaller, manmade sites, simply because a catalog of pretty American places could stretch on forever.
This list is admittedly subjective, but comes from 30 years of professional wandering. Some places are more well-known than others, but all share a sense of tranquility and wonder.
And since I review small boutique hotels for a living, I have included nearby recommended places to stay. Happy travels!
1. San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos, N.M.
Famously painted by Georgia O'Keefe and described by her as "one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards," this handsome adobe mission a few miles outside of Taos Pueblo yokes together a staggering five centuries of North American history.Harper hotel: Casa de las Chimeneas, Taos.
2. Whaling Museum, Nantucket, Mass.
At its whaling peak during the first half of the 19th century, the small island of Nantucket had 88 ships scattered across the oceans. The Whaling Museum is wonderfully evocative of this era (plenty of scrimshaw and rusty harpoons), and out-of-season Nantucket Town, with its Greek Revival mansions and cobblestone streets, is equally enchanting.Harper hotel: The Wauwinet.
3. Battery District, Charleston, S.C.
The historic Battery District of Charleston, South Carolina, home to dozens of stately antebellum mansions, is one of the prettiest U.S. neighborhoods I've ever explored. Follow the promenade along the shores of the Charleston peninsula; Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, sits broodingly across the Cooper River.Harper hotel: Planters Inn.
4. Madison Valley, Montana
Montana's Madison Valley, which runs between the Madison and Gallatin ranges down to West Yellowstone, is magnificent Lewis and Clark territory. This is unspoiled land, vast and uncompromising — everything you hope Big Sky Country will look like.Harper hotel: The Lodge at Sun Ranch.
5. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Housed in a charming Venetian-style palazzo, this gem of a gallery displays works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Whistler and Sargent. It's small enough to tour in an hour or so, and you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the sunny, flower-filled courtyard. And if your name happens to be Isabella, you get in free.Harper hotel: XV Beacon.
6. The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City
If you had to choose only one restaurant in New York City to visit, this would be the one. The city's prettiest dining room was designed by architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, and astutely hasn't been touched since its introduction in 1959. The Pool Room is a study in muted sophistication, despite some of the outsized egos at the tables.Harper hotel: The Lowell.
7. The Rothko Chapel, Houston
This small, non-denominational chapel located just off the Menil gallery in Houston's Museum District seems unassuming at first, but spend some time surrounded by the 14 mysterious paintings by Mark Rothko, and it may start sinking into your skin.Harper hotel: St. Regis.
8. The Huntington Gardens, San Marino, Calif.
Huntington did quite well in railroads, and he's left us with a wonderful afternoon escape just outside of Los Angeles. After admiring some of the spoils of his industry — a Gutenberg Bible, a Shakespeare folio, Thomas Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy" — venture out into the superb botanical gardens, home to dozens of unique environments: an almost eerily authentic Japanese garden, a lily pond straight out of a Monet painting, and an entrancing collection of cacti.Harper hotel: Hotel Bel-Air.
9. Robie House (Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago
The Robie House, the world's first modern home, was designed in 1908 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and still seems startlingly contemporary 100 years later; with its broad horizontal lines and sleek art-glass windows, it looks like a modernist yacht. Wright himself showed up to protest the planned demolition of the house (it was to be replaced by a seminary dormitory) at the ripe old age of 90. Harper hotel: Four Seasons.
10. The Oregon Coast
Highway 101 along the Oregon Coast swerves through 360 miles of jagged cliffs, rocky outcrops, sweeping dunes and temperate rain forests. The coastline lacks deep harbors, so there are no large cities here — just old logging towns, fishing villages and the occasional artist colony. And the entire coast is public land, which makes for excellent picnic opportunities in rugged and remote spaces.Harper hotel: The Stephanie Inn, Cannon Beach

/By Andrew Harper


Key Molecule for Life Found in Habitable Region of the Galaxy

A sugar molecule linked to the origin of life was discovered in a potentially habitable region of our galaxy.
The molecule, called glycolaldehyde, was spotted in a large star-forming area of space around 26,000 light-years from Earth in the less-chaotic outer regions of the Milky Way. This suggests the sugar could be common across the universe, which is good news for extraterrestrial-life seekers.
"This is an important discovery as it is the first time glycolaldehyde, a basic sugar, has been detected towards a star-forming region where planets that could potentially harbor life may exist," Serena Viti of University College London said in a press release.
Previously, glycolaldehyde had only been observed toward the center of the galaxy, where conditions are thought to be too extreme to host habitable planets.
Glycolaldehyde is a key ingredient for life. It helps to build Ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is thought to be the central molecule involved in the origin of life on Earth. Glycolaldehyde is a monosaccharide sugar, the basic unit of carbohydrates. It can react with the chemical propenal to form ribose, the building block of RNA.
"The discovery of an organic sugar molecule in a star forming region of space is very exciting and will provide incredibly useful information in our search for alien life,” said Keith Mason, chief executive of the England’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.
WIRED SCIENCE/ By : Clara Moskowitz


Blockbuster to rent through new on-demand device

(AP) :
SAN FRANCISCO - Blockbuster Inc. will start renting movies and television shows through a new gadget that may give consumers another reason to bypass the struggling video chain's 7,500 stores.
The new system announced Tuesday relies on a small box that connects to television sets and stores video after it's downloaded over high-speed Internet connections.
The player, made by San Jose-based 2Wire Inc., is built on the same concept as storage devices made by Apple Inc. and Vudu Inc. The devices are all meant to provide a bridge between the Internet and TVs.
Netflix Inc., a Blockbuster nemesis, has been trying to make the same leap with a video-streaming service that can be watched on TV sets through a variety of devices, including a $100 box introduced by Roku Inc. six months ago.
Blockbuster's foray into so-called "on-demand" video also pits the Dallas-based company against instant-gratification services already offered by major cable carriers like Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc.
Although the company has closed hundreds of stores in recent years, Blockbuster's expansion into on-demand shouldn't be interpreted as a condemnation of its brick-and-mortar locations, Chairman James Keyes said in an interview.
"We think the stores will remain relevant to consumers for quite some time," he said.
Blockbuster had previously been selling video downloads through Movielink, a service that it bought for $7.7 million last year. But Movielink option was primarily aimed at consumers who don't mind watching movies on personal computers or portable gadgets with small screens.
With its latest step, Blockbuster is appealing to the larger audience that prefers watching entertainment on big-screen TVS.
To help get its next downloading box into homes, Blockbuster is selling it as part of a $99 package that includes 25 on-demand rentals. After that, Blockbuster will charge at least $1.99 for each downloaded video.
The pay-per-view pricing differs from Netflix's "instant watching" service, which gives unlimited access to a library of 12,000 titles to any subscriber paying at least $8.99 per month for a DVD rental plan.
Blockbuster's on-demand service is starting out with just 2,000 selections, but Keyes promises the movies will be of more recent vintage than Netflix's instant-watching service.
"We are emphasizing quality over quantity because we think quality is most important for our customers," he said.
Blockbuster's on-demand service is starting out with recently released DVD titles such as "Get Smart, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" — none of which are available through Netflix's instant-watching channel.
Keyes also believes Blockbuster's service will provide a better-quality picture because all the video will be stored on the 2Wire box.
Netflix shows, or "streams," the video over high-speed Internet pipes without anything being saved on a piece of hardware. The clarity of a streamed video can vary depending on the speed of the Internet connection being used.
Los Gatos-based Netflix has been investing heavily in the instant-watching channel since unveiling it in early 2007. The option is getting used by more Netflix subscribers as it has become easier to connect the service to TV sets through the Roku player, DVD players and xBox 360 video game consoles made by Microsoft Corp.
Once a dominant force in home entertainment, Blockbuster has been wounded by Netflix's DVD-by-mail service, which has 8.7 million subscribers, as well as the on-demand options included in cable subscription packages.
Although its losses have been narrowing this year under Keyes' leadership, Blockbuster still hasn't been making money. The company has lost nearly $4.5 billion since 2001, including $14 million through the first nine months of this year.

KISWA , the Magnificent Cover for KAABA

The House of ALLAH in Makkah , The Kaa'ba is covered by a black cloth known as 'Kiswa', which is produced & changed every year.
Special factory designed for the making of Kiswa in Makkah. It costs approx. SR 17million.
The cloth is made of 670 kgs of silver dyed black, about 120 kgs of pure gold & 50 kgs of silver used in writing the Qur'anic verses over the cloth.
The total area of the cloth is 658 sqr meters.


"MAVs" or Micro Aerial Vehicles

In this photo taken from computer animation video Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, and released by the U.S. Air Force, shows the next generation of drones, called Micro Aerial Vehicles, or MAVs.
The MAVs could be as tiny as bumblebees and capable of flying undetected into buildings, where they could photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists.
U.S. military engineers are trying to design flying robots disguised as insects that could one day spy on enemies and conduct dangerous missions without risking lives.
(AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, HO)

This Is What Is Called A Real Friendship !



All Parts of these Cakes are Edible.
No Plastic or any other Artificial Stuff is used.


Gusty winds drove wildfires into southern California cities in mid-November 2008.
This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the Los Angeles metropolitan area on November 16, 2008.
Places where the sensor detected active fires are outlined in red.
The top image shows smoke spreading far to the west over the Pacific Ocean. (The smoke was even thicker when the MODIS sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image earlier in the day.)
According to the National Interagency Fire Center daily situation report from November 16, the Sayre Fire north of San Fernando was 8,000 acres and 20 percent contained.
The Freeway Fire was 5,800 acres and 5 percent contained.
The following day, winds died down, and the fires’ ferocity ebbed.
Evacuees were allowed to return to their communities.
/from : NASA's Earth Observatory


NASA Supercomputer Ranks Among World's Fastest

NASA'S newest supercomputer at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., has garnered the number three spot on the Top500 list of the world's most powerful computers. The announcement was made Nov. 17, 2008 at the International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC08) in Austin, Texas.
The Pleiades supercomputer is an SGI Altix ICE system with 12,800 Intel Xeon quad-core processors (51,200 cores, 100 racks) running at 487 trillion floating point operations per second (teraflops) on the LINPACK benchmark, the industry standard for measuring a system's floating point computing power.
One of the most powerful general-purpose supercomputers ever built, Pleiades also features the world's largest InfiniBand interconnect network.
The LINPACK run also measured electrical power consumption-an increasingly important consideration in high-end computing. Using a total of 2.09 megawatts, or 233 megaflops per watt, Pleiades is among the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world.
"Pleiades represents a significant engineering achievement in several ways," said William Thigpen, Pleiades project manager at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames.
In addition to its power and InfiniBand record, "Pleiades can run NASA codes with minimal modifications, and is compatible with standard desktop engineering workstations so our users can migrate codes easily from their desktops. Users from all key mission areas will have an enormous resource to meet their critical milestones," Thigpen added.
Among the scientific and engineering projects accepted for computer time on Pleiades:
- Extensive simulations of large computational problems for future space vehicle design;
- Development of increasingly detailed models of large-scale dark matter halos and galaxy evolution;
- Running coupled atmosphere-ocean models to assess decadal climate prediction skill for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"Over a record-making few weeks, NASA has again deployed one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world," said Eng Lim Goh, chief technology officer at SGI.
"In the race to achieve superior computational power, NASA's knowledge of rapid yet productive deployment is a rare advantage. We are proud to be part of NASA's ongoing journey to show the world what is possible."
"We look forward to seeing the science breakthroughs enabled by Pleiades," said Stephen Wheat, senior director for high performance computing at Intel Corp. "It's rewarding to see that the performance features of the Intel Xeon quad-core processors meet the growing computational challenges of the nation's space program."
The InfiniBand fabric interconnecting Pleiades' 6,400 nodes requires more than 20 miles of double data rate cabling. InfiniBand is also used as the primary local-area network backbone that interconnects computing, storage, and visualization systems, and to facilitate cross-system data file access.
This enables scientific visualization and data analysis to execute concurrently as computer jobs run, producing ultra-high-fidelity results for the enormous datasets used in NASA mission projects.
Pleiades was acquired to augment the space agency's Columbia supercomputer (ranked No. 2 on the Top500 list in November 2004) in supporting NASA's four key mission areas: aeronautics research, exploration systems, science, and space operations.

/Space Daily


The Cutest Little Woman In The World (Age : 22 Yrs.)

Unhappy People Watch Lots More TV, jeanna Bryner :

Unhappy people glue themselves to the television 30 percent more than happy people.The finding, announced on Thursday, comes from a survey of nearly 30,000 American adults conducted between 1975 and 2006 as part of the General Social Survey.
While happy people reported watching an average of 19 hours of television per week, unhappy people reported 25 hours a week. The results held even after taking into account education, income, age and marital status.In addition, happy individuals were more socially active, attended more religious services, voted more and read a newspaper more often than their less-chipper counterparts.The researchers are not sure, though, whether unhappiness leads to more television-watching or more viewing leads to unhappiness.In fact, people say they like watching television: Past research has shown that when people watch television they enjoy it. In these studies, participants reported that on a scale from 0 (dislike) to 10 (greatly enjoy), TV-watching was nearly an 8. But perhaps the high from watching television doesn't last. "These conflicting data suggest that TV may provide viewers with short-run pleasure, but at the expense of long-term malaise," said researcher John Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park. In this scenario, even the happiest campers could turn into Debbie-downers if they continue to stare at the boob-tube. The researchers suggest that over time, television-viewing could push out other activities that do have more lasting benefits. Exercise and sex come to mind, as do parties and other forms of socialization known to have psychological benefits.Or, maybe television is simply a refuge for people who are already unhappy. "TV is not judgmental nor difficult, so people with few social skills or resources for other activities can engage in it," Robinson and UM colleague Steven Martin write in the December issue of the journal Social Indicators Research. They add, "Furthermore, chronic unhappiness can be socially and personally debilitating and can interfere with work and most social and personal activities, but even the unhappiest people can click a remote and be passively entertained by a TV."The researchers say follow-up studies are needed to tease out the relationship between television and happiness.