For most people, the prospect of river rafting triggers thoughts of family time, relaxation and a meandering exploration of the outdoors. It sounds nice, and it is. All the same, most people need not venture out on these raging rapids. These rivers are the deadliest bodies of freshwater on the planet. What about Adrenalists? Can they tackle them? Well, that’s another story altogether. If you’ve got proper training and a more-than-healthy thirst for intense risk, why wouldn’t you jump right in?
For those of you feeling game, we’ve compiled a first-class list of rapids that will either give you a coronary or place you among a select few who’ve conquered the nearly insurmountable.
The Amazon River is the most powerful river in the world and accounts for 1/5 of the world’s river flow. Its shores are set so wide apart, and its rapids are so incredibly powerful, that it houses not one single bridge or point at which one could cross without risking their lives and getting very, very wet. To give a clear idea of the Amazon’s might, it’s reported that over eight trillion gallons of water discharge at its mouth each day, which is certainly enough flow to pummel would-be swimmers down towards its 150-foot depths. Unless you’re superhuman, you should think twice about tackling this one. Read more
1. Bellagio Fountains (Las Vegas): A Choreographed Water Show
The Fountains of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (USA) are a vast, choreographed water fountains with performances set to light and music. The performances are visible from numerous vantage points on the Strip, both from the street and from neighboring structures. The fountain’s show takes place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings, and every 15 minutes from 8 PM to midnight. The Fountains are set in a nine-acre man-made lake. The fountain display is choreographed to various pieces of music; current pieces include “Fly Me To The Moon” (Frank Sinatra), “Time to Say Goodbye” (Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli) and “My Heart Will Go On” (Celine Dion).
Contrary to a common urban myth that the lake is filled with treated greywater from the hotel, it is actually serviced by a fresh water well, that was drilled decades prior to irrigate a golf course which previously utilized the site. In fact, the fountains use less water at present than under its prior golf course use. They incorporate a network of underwater pipes with over 1,200 nozzles that makes it possible to stage fountain displays coordinated with over 4,500 lights. It is estimated that the fountains cost US$50 million to build. Read more
While Thais are always up for a good celebration, and certainly celebrate the western and the Chinese New Years with gusto, the most popular and important celebration in the Thai calendar is the Songkran Festival – the traditional Thai New Year. Previously calculated astrologically, the Songkran Festival is now fixed on the 13th to the 15th of April. It’s not unusual for Thais to take their holiday time from work during this week, and all of Thailand shuts down for at least 13 – 15 April. Read more
Construction of two sky-scraping wind-driven “downdraft towers” that could eventually supply electricity to more than three million homes is on track to start in 2014, after Clean Wind Energy (CWE) was given the green light to proceed with the 5GW mega-project.
“The concept has been around for 30 years — but how to build a tower of the size needed is the thing” – Ron Pickett.
The US company’s revolutionary power-station concept, to be built on a 6,880-hectare site near San Luis, southwest Arizona, is based on what would be the world’s tallest man-made structure — a 914-metre hollow tower — outfitted with a water-spray system. Read more
For at least two decades now, climate scientists have been telling us that CO2 and other human-generated greenhouse gases are warming the planet, and that if we keep burning fossil fuels the trend will continue. Recent projections suggest a global average warming of perhaps 3 to 4 degrees C, or 5.4 to 7 degrees F, by the end of this century.
But those same scientists have also been reminding us consistently that this is just an average. Thanks to all sorts of regional factors — changes in vegetation, for example, or ice cover, or prevailing winds — some areas are likely to warm more than that, while others should warm less. Read more