Trailer – Shrek the Third


Trailer for Shrek the Third, opening in theaters May 18, 2007. For more on Shrek the Third check out its official site.

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Skyscrapers – Burj Al Arab


Once a tranquil town, Dubai has transformed itself into a quintessential home of sand, sun, skyscrapers and shopping.  Today skyscrapers stand alongside the mosques and wind towers of Old Dubai.

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The Burj al-Arab (Arabic: برج العرب, “Tower of the Arabs”) is a luxury hotel in Dubai, the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates.  Designed by Tom Wright of WS Atkins PLC, it rises to 321 m (1053 feet) and is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel.  It stands on an artificial island 280 m (919 feet) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge.

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Designed to resemble the billowing sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel, the Burj Al Arab dominates the Dubai coastline.  At night, it offers an unforgettable sight, surrounded by choreographed colour sculptures of water and fire.

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The interior of the hotel is dominated by a massive atrium formed between the V shaped structure and its fabric sail, the tallest lobby in the world. The atrium takes up over one-third of interior space, and is over 182 m (597 feet) tall.

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Other features include a helipad, suspended near the top of the building, and a restaurant called Al Muntaha, (Arabic meaning “Highest” or “Ultimate”), which is 200 m (656 feet) high and supported by a full cantilever that extends 27 m (89 feet ) from either side of the mast.

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The hotel boasts 8,000 square meters (26,247 square feet) of 22-carat gold leaf and 24,000 square meters (78,740 square feet) of 30 different types of marble.

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Despite its size, the building holds only 28 two-story floors with 202 bedroom suites.  Every guest room is actually a duplex suite. The cost of staying in a suite begins at $1,000 per night and increases to over $15,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, at $28,000 per night.  The smallest suite occupies an area of 169 square metres (1,819 square feet), and the largest one covers 780 square metres (8,396 square feet).  It is certainly one of the most expensive hotels in the world to stay in.

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Currently, the Burj Al Arab is the fifteenth tallest building in Dubai, however with the building spree the United Arab Emirates is on, that number is sure to change in the future.

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Pictures – Mykonos


Tomorrow begins another work week, so in the spirit of staying in a vacation mindset as long as possible (and dreaming of warmer weather/locales), I present you pictures from Mykonos, Greece.

Greece’s most famous and popular island, Mykonos has been a popular destination for tourists and adventure seekers.  Mykonos offers so much: Great beaches, fine restaurants, beautiful hotels, amazing bars and clubs and the widest assortment of people that you will find anywhere. Mykonos simply offers something for everyone. Join in this Flickr pictoral adventure.

Twilight on Mykonos

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Catching the last rays of sun at Paraportiani church, Mykonos, Greece, June 2006
by StrudelMonkey

Old Greek Windmills

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by Fianna

Lane in Mykonos

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by Katie and Michael

Idyllic Beach

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by RottieLover

A Table with a View

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by Smaku

Mykonos Window

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by bric

Chapel Bell

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by RaulTravel

Poolside

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by SeenyaRita

Optical Illusions


The mind is an amazing thing.  Test out what your eyes are telling your head versus what you know or believe to be true with the following optical illusions.

Stare at the large square and count the white dots (or are they white dots).

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Are the lines below straight or are they curved?

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 To see if your guess is correct, try putting a ruler or a straight edge to the screen.

 

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Image designed by Herman Verwaal

 

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Look carefully at the center dots on both the left and right.  Which dot is bigger?

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What do you see below?

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A woman or a musician?  Or both?

 

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Image designed by Herman Verwaal

 

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Online Driver’s Education


Driversed.com

With the slogan, “click. learn. drive.” DriversEd.com advertises itself as America’s top online drivers education solution. With state-specific DMV approved curriculum and fully interactive, comprehensive courses DriversEd.com allows you to learn how to drive from the comfort of your computer.  You can also study for your Learners Permit and Drivers License with our online DMV Practice Tests.

With the popularity of online degree courses, an online driver’s ed course makes sense.  Catchy phrases like “Don’t spend your spare time in a classroom. Take our Drivers Ed Course at your own pace. It’s all online!” are sure to get the attention of people who are either too busy to take an in-person course or who find e-learning convenient and/or enjoyable.

 Here are some FAQ about this approach from DriversEd.com

How do you think it helps teens to have an onlinedrivers ed course?
DriversEd.com expands the universe of students that can take drivers education because our all online offering allows for convenient scheduling of both time and place. DriversEd.com has a disproportionate number of students from two main groups: 1) Overachievers, and 2) students from rural areas. Overachievers have a particularly hard time fitting drivers education into an already cramped schedule. AP courses in the morning, football practice in the evening, away games during the breaks and summer internships make it impossible for high achieving students to coordinate a classroom drivers education course.  DriversEd.com allows those students to take all or any portion of the course on their own time and at there own place. Those students in rural areas of the US may not have a private driving school in the area, at all. DriversEd.com may offer the only “local” drivers education opportunity.

How does this work? How many users have passed the online examination/test so far?What are this service’s larger social implications?
DriversEd.com is a complete drivers education all online. Upon graduation, students receive an official DMV recognized certificate of completion that makes them eligible for their learners permit. Our successful course graduates numbers in the many tens of thousands and are primarily from the eight states where DriversEd.com offers official certificates of completion: California, Nevada, Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Virginia, Florida and Texas.

What are this service’s larger social implications?
DriversEd.com makes it possible for more American teens to receive quality drivers education before getting behind-the-wheel.  The DriversEd.com course is Flash-driven, fully animated with interactive case studies in both 2D & 3D, online movies, quizzes and a final exam.  DriversEd.com is always available from anywhere with an Internet connection and offers 24/7 customer support.  Compare that drivers ed experience to spending a summer in a make shift classroom in some strip mall with a P.E. teacher making an extra buck for lecturing at 30 fifteen year olds at 8am. Pedagogically, it’s clear that a dedicated, animated and interactive one-on-one drivers ed course is perfectly suited for today’s teen.  DriversEd.com expands the universe of potential teen drivers by making drivers education more available. And DriversEd.com better prepares those teen drivers for the road by using the latest in Internet technology to actually TEACH.