Archive for the Articles Category

Posted in Articles on February 28, 2009 by aaxei

Extreme makeunder in the Maldives

By Chris Morris
BBC News, Male

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The BBC’s Chris Morris explores the private presidential island

As we headed out to sea from Male, I still had the president’s words ringing in my ears: “Last time I talked to you,” he said, “I ended up in jail.”

That was nearly 20 years ago, when Mohamed Nasheed was a young political activist forbidden from contacting foreigners.

But times have changed.

Last year Mr Nasheed won a democratic election against Maumoon Gayoom, the man who ordered his imprisonment and who had ruled the Maldives for 30 years.

And now the new regime is determined to shed the trappings of presidential power.

Presidential trappings

Our speed boat accelerated past the island where the new president was incarcerated for years as a prisoner of conscience.

We were heading for another island, Arah, the former president’s weekend retreat.

Presidential yacht

The presidential yacht will be auctioned off, possibly on eBay

A multi-million dollar presidential yacht was moored in the tiny harbour. It will now be auctioned off, possibly on eBay.

I was shown luxury beach villas, a tree house for the presidential children, a private cricket pitch, and of course the presidential beach.

The island used to be the exclusive preserve of President Gayoom and his guests.

But the new administration wants to open everything up. There’s already talk of turning Arah into a marine research facility or even a writer’s retreat.

In the capital Male, the presidential palace stands empty. Mr Nasheed says it is too big – he’s happier in more humble surroundings.

So there are suggestions that the palace could become a museum, or the country’s first university.

‘Bit extravagant’

But some Maldivians aren’t impressed. You can’t, they argue, be a political activist for ever. Once you’ve been elected president, you have to start acting like one.

The new president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed

“I think he should move here,” said a man wandering down the street outside. “I want to see him waving from this gate. Like the Queen does at Buckingham Palace.”

But President Nasheed has other ideas.

“It’s all a bit extravagant for me,” he said.

He showed me the old president’s office, including his gold-plated toilet.

The new man has moved in down the corridor, sharing an office with his secretary.

“When we started this administration, the presidency was costing more than $150m (£105m) a year,” he said. “This is something we simply can’t afford. We’ve brought it down to $4m.

“I don’t feel the cut, and we can use the rest of the money for old age pensioners, for schools, for housing and very many things we need now.”

Perhaps I looked surprised, because he was quick to add a rider.

“No one should be concerned about my niceties and my comfort,” he said. “I’m fine, I’m happy.”

Text message

So there is certainly a new style of government in Male. In one of the world’s smallest capital cities, half the official fleet of cars is also heading for the auction room.

Sink in presidential palace

The former president’s bathroom included gold-plated fixtures

But former President Gayoom has rejected accusations of extravagance during three decades at the top.

We weren’t able to interview him, but he did send a text.

It said allegations of extravagance were “baseless and ludicrous”.

“It’s all government property,” the text said, and the presidential buildings are “the landmarks of the modern Maldives.”

One of Mr Gayoom’s aides was even more blunt.

Mr Nasheed, he said, is not only selling off the presidency, he’s selling off the country.

So politics in paradise remains rough and tumble. But bling is no longer king. Or even president.

Most Amazing Islands of the World

Posted in Articles on January 16, 2009 by aaxei

Most Amazing Islands of the World
Reason Pad

ALCATRAZ ISLAND (USA): home to the first lighthouse on the Pacific Coast

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Alcatraz Island (sometimes informally referred to as simply Alcatraz or by its pop-culture name, The Rock) is a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California, United States. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963, when it became a national recreation area. The first European to discover the island was Juan de Ayala in 1775, who charted the San Francisco Bay and named the island “La Isla de los Alcatraces”, which means “Island of the Pelicans”.

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 brought thousands of ships to San Francisco Bay, creating an urgent need for a navigational lighthouse. In response, Alcatraz lighthouse #1 was erected and lit in the summer of 1853. Because of its natural isolation in the middle of a bay, surrounded by cold water and strong sea currents, Alcatraz was soon considered by the U.S. Army as an ideal location for holding captives. Alcatraz was the Army’s first long-term prison, and it was already beginning to build its reputation as a tough detention facility by exposing inmates to harsh conditions and iron fisted discipline. Due to rising operational costs because of its location, the Military Department decided to close this famous prison in 1934, and it was subsequently taken over by the Department of Justice and later became the famous federal prision and finally a recreation area.

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THE WORLD ISLANDS (Dubai): man-made islands in the form of a world map

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Ever wish the world was smaller? The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands in the shape of a world map. The World is being built primarily using sand dredged from the sea. Each island ranges from 23,000 m2 to 84,000 m2 (250,000–900,000 square feet or 5.7–21 acres) in size, with 50–100 m of water between each island. The development will cover an area of 9 km in length and 6 km in width, surrounded by an oval breakwater. The only means of transport between the islands will be by boat and helicopter. Prices for the islands will range from $15-45 million (USD). The average price for an island will be around $25 million (USD). Dredging started in 2004 and as of March of 2007 The World is around 90% complete. According to the National Geographic Channel (The Best of Megastructures) the overall price for the World is $14 Billion US Dollars.

MALDIVE ISLANDS: the paradisiac island nation with 1,192 islets

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The Maldives is an island nation consisting of a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is located south of India’s Lakshadweep islands, and about seven hundred kilometers (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka. The Maldives’ twenty-six atolls encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets, roughly two hundred of which are inhabited by local communities.

Originally the inhabitants were Buddhist, but Islam was introduced in 1153. It later became a Portuguese (1558), Dutch (1654), and British (1887) colonial possession. In 1965, the Maldives obtained independence from Britain (originally under the name “Maldive Islands”), and in 1968 the Sultanate was replaced by a Republic. However, in thirty-eight years, the Maldives have seen only two Presidents, though political restrictions have loosened somewhat recently. The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in terms of population. It is also the smallest predominantly Muslim nation in the world.

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EASTER ISLAND (Polynesian triangle, Chile): world heritage site and one of the most isolated inhabited islands in history

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Easter Island is one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands. It is 3,600 km (2,237 miles) west of continental Chile and 2,075 km (1,290 miles) east of Pitcairn. Nowdays, it is a Chilean-governed island, and is a world heritage site with much of the island protected by the Rapa Nui National Park.

First settled by a small party of Polynesians, Easter Island is one of the youngest inhabited territories on Earth, and for most of its history it was the most isolated inhabited territory on Earth. Its inhabitants the Rapanui have endured famines, epidemics, civil war, slave raids and colonialism; have seen their population crash on more than one occasion, and created a cultural legacy that has brought them fame out of all proportion to their numbers.

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SEALAND (Principality): World’s smallest island

The Principality of Sealand is an island and a micronation located on HM Fort Roughs, a former Maunsell Sea Fort located in the North Sea 10 km (six miles) off the coast of Suffolk, England, in what is claimed as territorial waters using a twelve-nautical-mile radius.
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Since 1967, the installation has been occupied by associates and family of Paddy Roy Bates, a former radio broadcaster and former British Army Major, who claims that it is a sovereign and independent state. Critics, as well as court rulings in the United States and in Germany, have claimed that Roughs Tower has always remained the property of the United Kingdom, a view that is disputed by the Bates family. The population of the facility rarely exceeds ten, and its habitable area is 550 m2 (5920 sq ft).

Sealand’s claims to sovereignty and legitimacy are not recognised by any country, yet it is sometimes cited in debates as an interesting case study of how various principles of international law can be applied to a territorial dispute.

PALM ISLANDS (Dubai): the palm-shaped man-made island

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The Palm Islands in Dubai are the three largest artificial islands in the world. They are being constructed by Nakheel Properties, a property developer in the United Arab Emirates, who hired the Dutch dredging and marine contractor Van Oord, one of the world’s specialists in land reclamation. The islands are The Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira. The Islands are located off the coast of The United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf and will add 520 km of beaches to the city of Dubai.

The first two islands will comprise approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. Palm Deira will be composed of approximately 1 billion cubic meters of rock and sand. All materials will be quarried in the UAE. Between the three islands there will be over 100 luxury hotels, exclusive residential beach side villas and apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities and health spas. The creation of The Palm Jumeirah began in June 2001. Shortly after, The Palm Jebel Ali was announced and reclamation work began. In 2004, The Palm Deira, which will be almost as large in size as Paris, was announced. Palm Jumeirah is currently open for development. Construction will be completed over the next 10-15 years.

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SURTSEY (Iceland): The emerging island

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Off the coast of Iceland on the morning of 14 November 1963, the crew of a lone fishing trawler spotted an alarming sight. Off to the southwest of the Ísleifur II, a column of dark smoke was rising from the water. Concerned that it could be another boat on fire, the captain directed his vessel towards the scene. Once there, however, they found not a boat but a series of violent explosions producing ash. This was an unmistakable indication of a volcanic eruption taking place underwater, close to the surface. Very aware of the potential danger but eager to watch, the crew kept their boat nearby. It was indeed a remarkable event that they would witness a small part of over the course of that morning: the formation of a brand-new island.

Although now quite visible, the eruption lasted for much, much longer than the Ísleifur II would have been able to watch. After several days, the volcano had broken the water’s surface, forming an island over 500 meters long and 45 meters tall. Even though the rough tides of the North Atlantic might have soon eroded the new island away, it was named Surtsey, meaning ‘Surtur’s island’ – Surtur (or Surtr) being a fire giant of Norse mythology. The island proved to be tenacious, however. The eruption was ongoing and Surtsey increased in size more quickly than the ocean could wear it down. In the meantime two other nearby volcanic eruptions produced the beginnings of islands, but neither lasted very long. By April 1964, though, the most violent parts of the eruption were over and Surtsey remained.

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It was fairly clear that it was going to be a permanent island – or at least as permanent as anything can be in geology. The explosions returned in August 1966, and only stopped when the entire eruption finally came to an end in June 1967. Since then, the volcano has lain dormant. The island was left 174 meters tall and about 2.8 square kilometers in size. At 33 kilometers south of the mainland, it also marked the new southernmost point of Iceland.

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GUNKANJIMA (Japan): the Ghost (and forbidden) Island

Gunkanjima is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility. The island’s most notable features are the abandoned concrete buildings and the sea wall surrounding it. It is known for its coal mines and their operation during the industrialization of Japan. Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan’s first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers, and to protect against typhoon destruction.

In 1959, its population density was 835 people per hectare for the whole island, or 1,391 per hectare for the residential district, one of the highest population density ever recorded worldwide. As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare, which is why it’s called the Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima is currently prohibited.

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Maldives under threat

Posted in Articles on January 10, 2009 by aaxei

Reuters Report

Maldives under threat
Maldivians fear the encroachment of a rising global sea level.
The Island Kingdom of the Maldives off southern India, one of the lowest lying countries in the world, is under threat from the effects of climate change. It was the first country to sign the 1997 Kyoto climate protocol and is closely following current climate negotiations after talks in Poland at the end of last year. Kimberley Lim reports. watch video watch video

NEVER LICK ANOTHER ENVELOPE AGAIN.

Posted in Articles on December 26, 2008 by aaxei

Dont Lick Envelope close….
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One day a girl licked the envelopes and postage stamps instead of using a sponge. That very day the lady found a cut on her tongue. A week later, she noticed an abnormal swelling of her tongue. She went to the doctor, and they found nothing wrong. Her tongue was not sore or anything. A couple of days later, her tongue started to swell more, and it began to get really sore, so sore, that she could not eat. She went back to the hospital, and demanded something be done. The doctor took an x-ray of her tongue and noticed a lump. He prepared her for minor surgery. When the doctor cut her tongue open, a live cockroach crawled out!!!!

There were cockroach eggs on the seal of the envelope. The egg was able to hatch inside of her tongue, because of her saliva. It was warm and moist…

This is a true story reported on CNN.

Andy Hume wrote:
Hey, I used to work in an envelope factory. You wouldn’t believe the….things that float around in those gum applicator trays. I haven’t licked an envelope for years!” I used to work for a print shop (32 years ago) and we were told NEVER to lick the envelopes. I never understood why until I had to go into storage and pull out 2500 envelopes that were already printed and saw several squads of cockroaches roaming around inside a couple of boxes with eggs everywhere. They eat the glue on the envelopes.

People of Raa. atoll Maakurath Celebrates Eid Festival

Posted in Articles on December 15, 2008 by aaxei

People of Raa. atoll Maakurath Celebrates Eid Festival

People of R.atoll Maakurath celebrates Eid festival. The activities and games which play in Eid is basically traditional Maldivian games and activities. Eid in Maakurath is going with lots of stage shows and traditional activities.As Eid celebrates in school holidays lots of students involve in Eid celebration.Within last 2 years the people of  Maakurath has started some new activities while they celebrate Eid festival.Which includes float rounds,live stage shows etc. Details coming soon.