The Little Mermaid (Danish: Den lille havfrue) is a statue of a mermaid in Langelinie, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue (with a height of 1.25 metres (4 ft)) is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction.
The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre and asked the prima ballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the bronze statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue’s head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor’s wife, Eline Eriksen, was used for the body.
(photo via Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits)
Centralia is a borough and ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005, 9 in 2007, and 10 in 2010, as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962. Centralia is one of the least-populated municipalities in Pennsylvania.
Very few homes remain standing in Centralia; most of the abandoned buildings have been demolished by the Columbia County Redevelopment Authority or nature. At a casual glance, the area now appears to be a field with many paved streets running through it. Some areas are being filled with new-growth forest. The remaining church in the borough, St. Mary’s, holds weekly services on Sunday and has not yet been directly affected by the fire. The town’s four cemeteries—including one on the hilltop that has smoke rising around and out of it—are maintained in good condition. There is also a notice board posted near Hammie Hill, about 500 yards from the cemetery, protesting the evictions and demanding former Governor Rendell intervene.
The Penrose triangle, also known as the Penrose tribar, is an impossible object. It was first created by the Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd in 1934. Mathematician Roger Penrose independently devised and popularised it in the 1950s, describing it as “impossibility in its purest form”. It is featured prominently in the works of artist M. C. Escher, whose earlier depictions of impossible objects partly inspired it.
Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Potosí and Orurodepartments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves, which is in the process of being extracted. The large area, clear skies and exceptional surface flatness make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of the Earth observation satellites. The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of pink flamingos.
Dermatographic urticaria (also known as dermographism, dermatographism or “skin writing”) is a skin disorder seen in 4–5% of the population and is one of the most common types of urticaria, in which the skin becomes raised and inflamed when stroked, scratched, rubbed, and sometimes even slapped.
The underlying cause of dermographism is not known, and can last for many years without relief. Ninety-five percent of chronic cases are never solved. Increased incidence has been observed following prolonged exposure to microwaves. Sometimes the condition goes away, sometimes it stays forever. It is not a life-threatening disease and is not contagious.
It provided a technological advantage, and was responsible for many key Byzantine military victories, most notably the salvation of Constantinople from two Arab sieges, thus securing the Empire’s survival.
The impression made by Greek fire on the west European Crusaders was such that the name was applied to any sort of incendiary weapon, including those used by Arabs, the Chinese, and theMongols. These, however, were different mixtures and not the Byzantine formula, which was a closely guarded state secret, a secret which has been lost. The composition of Greek fire remains a matter of speculation and debate, with proposals including naphtha, quicklime, sulphur, and niter. Byzantine use of incendiary mixtures was distinguished by the use of pressurized siphons to project the liquid onto the enemy.
As of 2012, Greece (Hellenic Republic) has mandatory military service (conscription) of 9 months for men between the ages of 18 and 45. Citizens discharged from active service are normally placed in the Reserve and are subject to periodic recall of 1–10 days at irregular intervals.
Universal conscription was introduced in Greece during the military reforms of 1909, although various forms of selective draft had been in place earlier. In more recent years, conscription was associated with the state of general mobilisation declared on July 20, 1974 due to the crisis in Cyprus (the mobilisation was formally ended on December 18, 2002).
The length of a tour has varied historically, between 12–36 months depending on various factors particular to the conscript, and the political situation. Although women are accepted into the Greek army on a voluntary basis, they are not required to enlist, as men are.
Soldiers receive no health insurance, but they are provided medical support during their army service, including hospitalization costs.