Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Laguna Verde in Bolivia

Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) is a salt lake in the southwest of the altiplano of Bolivia, in the Department of Potosí, Province of Sud Lípez, on the Chilean border at the foot of the volcano Licancabur. Its colour is caused by sediments, containing copper minerals. It is elevated some 4,300 m (14,000 ft) above sea level.

The Laguna Verde is well known for its spectacular scenery and hot springs.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Beauty Of Morning Glory

No words this time?
No words.
No, there are times when nothing can be done.
Not this time.
Is it censorship?
Is it censorship?
No, it's evaporation.
No, it's evaporation.
Is this leading somewhere?
We're going down the lane.
Is this going somewhere?
Into the garden.
Into the backyard.
We're walking down the driveway.
Are we moving towards....
We're in the backyard.
...some transcendental moment?
It's almost light.
That's right.
That's it.
Are we moving towards some transcendental moment?
That's right.
That's it.
Do you think you'll be able to pull it off?
Yes. Do you think you can pull it off?
Yes, it might happen.
I'm all ears.
I'm all ears.
Oh the morning glory!

+ ---Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Five of the World’s most dangerous rivers

The sight of a river fascinates everyone. We always think about a river as calm flowing water that brushes more than stones at the bottom of the river. May be we envision some fishes in it too. Whatever we think, not all the rivers are calm, and there are some dangerous rivers in the globe as well.

Let’s have a look at 5 of the World’s most dangerous rivers.

1. Amazon River

Amazon River: The first to top the list is the Amazon River. The Amazon River located in South America is the largest and most dangerous river in the world because of its length, width and sheer volume. It accounts for about 20% of the world’s river flow into the oceans. Because of its vast dimensions, it is sometimes called the River Sea. It is so big that there aren’t any two points which can be crossed by a bridge. It is more than 150 feet deep. During a flood season, the Amazon widens to cover its banks and the islands in the middle of the river. The Amazon River is known for high tidal waves as well.

2. Congo River

Congo River: The Congo River, earlier recognized as the Zaire River, is in Western Central Africa. It is Africa’s most powerful river and the second most voluminous river in the world. It is about 2992 miles long. The river is one among the dangerous ones because still it begins peacefully; it picks up speed and becomes turbulent until it enters the “Gates of Hell”, a 75 mile long canyon of treacherous rapids. There are about 32 cataracts, having as much power as all the rivers and falls in the United States. At the Upper Congo, the river ends with the Stanley waterfall, a 60 mile draw out of rapids.

3. Orinoco River

Orinoco River: The Orinoco River is the third longest river in South America and is about 1330 miles long and flows through Columbia and Venezuela. Huge tropical forests cover the southwestern parts and large portions are still virtually inaccessible. Over 200 rivers are tributaries to this mighty river. It begins at the Delgado Chalbaud Mountain and as the river passes the forested terrain and waterfalls it slows. Navigation on this part is through shallow dugout or canoe. Farther on, the waterfalls become rapids and are very difficult to navigate. It drains into the Atlantic Ocean. It often posts a threat to the people who live close to the river due to its coastal upwelling throughout the year.

4. Yangtze River

Yangtze River: The Yangtze River is the largest and longest river in Asia as well as China. It is about 3964 miles long and it finally empties into the East China Sea. With plenty of rainfall all year round, it is also called the Golden Watercourse. The river has gorges along its way which are known for its dangerous with fast-moving water also numerous shoals. At several points there are deceitful whirlpools and the waters are extraordinarily turbulent. The river is also known for its flooding and dams which have been constructed have proved to be of no use. The tides of the Yangtze River are much stronger and hence the flooding. It has always been a powerful source of electricity.

5. Brahmaputra River

Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra River has its origin in the South Western Tibet and flows through Tibet, China, India and Bangladesh. It is about 1800 miles long. It is known for its flooding when the snow in the Himalayas melt and also for its tidal bare. This makes it more dangerous and stronger.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Deadly Avalanche Hits Afghanistan

All rescue operations have began with the help of international coalition, to help the people stuck in the Avalanche. (S. Sabawoon / EPA)

All roads have been blocked and could see the vehicles stranded on the highways. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

Afghan military forces and rescue team arriving at the site to help the victims. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

Afghan military forces and rescue team arriving at the site to help the victims. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

Helicopters were brought in to carry the dead bodies of the people. Some dead bodies and injured people were sent to Parwan province in north of Afghanistan and also to Baghlan province in the south. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

Reuters reported the bus was found with 15 dead bodies. (Omar Sobhani / Reuters)

Several bulldozers were put into work to clear the debris created due to avalanche. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

In the length of 4KM there were at least 17 avalanches and they are still in progress, which is causing delay in rescue operations. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

Rescue teams shifting injured people to hospitals. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP)

Rescue team found wounded child during evacuation. (Altaf Qadri / AP)

People are shifted to safer place, and the threat of fresh avalanches cannot be ruled out. (Altaf Qadri / AP)

Nearly 17 deadly avalanches hit Northern Afghanistan near Salang Pass killing more 160 people. Thousands of people were evacuated from this zone. The 60 year old Salang Tunnel is completely submerged and at least 300 vehicles are blocked. This is the only route which connects north Afghanistan to the south Afghanistan.

source: bigpicture

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Destructive Process of Mountaintop Removal

Mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian Mountains is among the most destructive actions that humanity has ever taken against the planet — and it is still happening today. The long process of removing a mountaintop to access the coal underneath puts local communities at risk of water and air pollution and turns entire ecosystems to rubble.
(image via Climate Ground Zero)

Coal mining companies in West Virginia and Kentucky have had free picking of mountain tops to mine, with one located just 400 yards away from an elementary school. While pending legislation could make the process much harder, current law is built in their favor.
(images via
Step One: Clearing the Forest

After determining a location, mining companies begin by clearing the top of the mountain of all trees and softer topsoil. Since the valleys bellow will later be filled with rubble, they will often also clear the trees below.
(images via Climate Ground Zero and It’s Getting Hot in Here)
Step Two: Blasting The Mountain

Using ammonium nitrate explosives, workers blast through up to 1,000 feet of the mountain in order to access coal seams. Dust, silica and chemicals rain on nearby communities during the blasting period, with residents often living within the “blasting zone.”
(image via the West Virginia Gazette)
Step Three: Digging Through Debris

Once the surface of the mountain is obliterated with explosives, a team uses an enormous machine called a dragline excavator to move the rubble. The machines, which run up to $100 million, can hold the equivalent of 24 cars in its bucket, making the digging process quick and easy.
(images via NRDC and
Step Four: Dumping Waste into Valley Fills

The waste is then dumped into neighboring valleys to create “valley fills.” The rubble, often laced with selenium, can still legally be dumped directly onto streams, thanks to a rule-change by the Bush administration. By 2001, 724 miles had been buried by valley fills.
(image via
Step Five: Removing & Washing the Coal

The coal acquired from mountaintop removal requires more extensive cleaning and processing than the coal from traditional bottom-up mines. The waste from the process — a thick black sludge — is then stored in makeshift reservoirs in nearby valleys which are known to leak into the water supply.

(images via West Virginia Gazette and Climate Ground Zero)
The Fight Against Mountaintop Removal

Organizations like Appalachian Voices, United Mountain Defense, and other local groups continue to fight for tougher regulations on mountaintop mining in Appalachia. Last month, a federal judge issued a promising ruling to require mountaintop mining permits to undergo a more stringent approval process.
Mountaintop Removal on Google Earth

Appalachian Voices has created multiple layers for Google Earth that explain and illustrate mountaintop mining in further detail. Using the tool, you can view videos on the process, tour “memorials” of fallen mountains, view the six steps in progress, and overlay mine sites on major cities to show their enormous size. For instructions on using the tool, visit

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kashmir in Winter Pictures

Kashmir, also known as Cashmere, is the northerwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Today Kashmir refers to a much larger area that includes the regions of Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh. The main "Valley of Kashmir" is a low-lying fertile region surrounded by magnificent mountains and fed by many rivers. It is renowned for its natural beauty and quaint lifestyle.

Kashmir is derived from the Sanskrit "Kashyapa" + "Mira", which means the mountain range of sage Kashyapa. Srinagar, the ancient capital, lies alongside Dal Lake and is famous for its canals and houseboats. Srinagar (alt. 1,600 m. or 5,200 ft.) served as a favoured summer capital for many foreign conquerors who found the heat of the Northern Indian plains in the summer season to be oppressive. Just outside the city are the beautiful Shalimar, Nishat and Chashmashahi gardens created by Mughal emperors.

Kashmir was one of the most important centres of Buddhism in India. Kashmir retained a strong influence of Buddhism despite the influence of Kashmir Saivism and the various Sufi Orders of Islam. Following are some gorgeous pictures of Kashmir in Winter.