Saturday, March 13, 2010

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire

Photo: Front view of the Imperial Crown: cross is an addition from the early 11th century; the arch dates from the reign of Emperor Conrad II (ruled 1024-1039); the red velvet cap is from the 18th century. It is made of gold, cloisonné enamel, precious stones, and pearls.

The crown is of the King of the Romans, the rulers of the German Kingdom, since the High Middle Ages, from when most of the kings were crowned with it. Probably, it was made somewhere in western Germany (10th century). The Imperial Regalia of the Holy Roman Empire, especially the Imperial Crown, were all kept 1424-1796 in Nuremberg, Franconia, and could only leave the city for the coronation. Now the crown and the rest of the Imperial Regalia are exhibited at the Hofburg in Vienna, officially ‘until there is again a Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation’.

Pope Saint Clement I: monastic mural

Image: Saint Clement I, one of the first century Bishops of Rome, considered successor to Saint Peter as leaders of the Catholic Church (mural in a monastery of Saint Clement, Macedonia).

Pope Saint Clement I (aka Saint Clement of Rome or Clemens Romanus) is listed from an early date as a Bishop of Rome. Not much is known about Pope Clement's life, but according to Tertullian, he was consecrated by Saint Peter, and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the later part of the first century.

UAE Air Force F-16E Fighter Plane

A United Arab Emirates Air Force F-16E Block 60 takes off after taxiing out of the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, adjacent to NAS Fort Worth JRB. (Date: February 28, 2007; Author: David Raykovitz.)

The single-seat F-16E and twin-seat F-16F are the latest versions of the F-16. They do not exist in the US Air Force inventory, but they are an export version. The F-16E/F now belongs to a special version developed especially for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and, hence, they are sometimes unofficially called the Desert Falcon.

US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons over South Korea

Photo: Three U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 30 aircraft from the 80th Fighter Squadron fly in formation over South Korea during a formation training mission on 9 January 2008; U.S. Air Force, photo by Tech. Sgt. Quinton T. Burris.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Camel Spider eating a lizard in Iraq

Video: Marines and Camel Spiders

Do Camel Spiders attack US marines in Iraq, or Afghanistan? Well, judging from the frequency of stories of Camel Spider attacks on humans deployed by American and Coalition forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan, first I thought that they are well-trained by Taliban or Al-Qaeda, or both, or they are themselves hardcore terrorists bent upon attacking the western forces.

While hunting for public domain photos for posting in this blog, I came across the photo of a very nice F-16 fighter aircraft, and while looking for details it, I came to a report that said, on 31 August 2006 a Dutch F-16AM crashed in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan and the pilot Captain Michael Donkervoort was killed. The investigations to find out the cause of the crash could not blame the crash on any technical or human errors, as if it was a mystery. But the investigation report referenced to the fact that a Camel Spider and other creatures had been found recently in the cockpits of Dutch fighter aircraft in Afghanistan. Indirectly, it seemed to allude that the Camel Spider had bitten the pilot who was paralyzed and lost control of the F-16, eventually crashing it.

My further efforts to find out more about these scary, bizarre, vampire-like creatures brought me to this video on YouTube. And I found much more videos and blogs that showed how the foreign soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are scared about these vampire Spiders. (In fact, biologically, they are not spiders but they belong to another family like that of the scorpions with more than 1000 identified species in their family).

Here is, in a nutshell, what the author of this video posted in YouTube (click on the video to go to his page), summarized as, “I made this video in Iraq. When stress comes calling... it has been a little busier and we're at the 1/3 mark in the deployment.”

That night the marine walked outside his office and saw the dead Camel Spider. A devilish idea struck him, as he was always talking about Marines screaming like little girls on the sight of these creatures. So he picked it up, pulled out his digital camera… He would walk up to people filming and telling them he was making a video to send home about Iraq, and what they thought of Camel Spiders... He would then toss the carcass onto their laps. He wrote, “Out of 15 subjects tested, 5 did indeed squeal like little girls, one was female though.” Any way, he has shot the Camel Spider comedy surprisingly well as you can see from this video.

Under the comments, I found myths surrounding camel spiders, like ‘Camel Spiders can move at speeds over 30 MPH screaming while they run, they can be as large as a Frisbee, their venom is an anesthetic that numbs their prey, they can jump three feet high, they got their name because they eat the stomachs of camels, they eat or gnaw on people while they sleep, due to the numbing effect of their venom the victim is unaware until they wake up.’

Any way the Camel Spider in this video is dead, not a living one! I have posted another video that shows a Camel Spider eating up a lizard in Iraq.

Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 over Afghanistan

Photo: This Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter plane was conducting a mission over Afghanistan on May 28, 2008 after receiving fuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft. The KC-135R is assigned to the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing deployed from Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, USA. Author: Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway.

The rough mountainous terrain of Afghanistan can be seen in the background, well below the fighter plane, as you see in a relief map.

Fighter planes of the class F-16s have been used by the United States in Afghanistan since 2001. In 2002, a tri-national detachment, the European Participating Air Forces, consisting of Denmark, The Netherlands and Norway forces, of 18 F-16 fighter planes in the ground attack role deployed to Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Here is a bit of history of involvement of F-16s in Afghanistan. Since April 2005, eight Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s, joined by four Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16s in February 2006, have been supporting International Security Assistance Force ground troops in the southern provinces of Afghanistan. On 31 August 2006 a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16AM crashed in Ghazni province and the pilot, Capt. Michael Donkervoort, was killed, but the cause of the crash could not be determined. However, the investigation report referenced the fact that a camel spider and other creatures had been found recently in the cockpits of Dutch aircraft in Afghanistan. Could it be that the spiders and other creatures in the cockpit had bitten the pilot of the crashed aircraft?

Camel spider is also known as wind scorpion, jerrymuglum, sun scorpion, red Romans, haarskeerders, baardskeerders and sun spider. Scientifically, they are Solifugae, an order of Arachnida with over 1,000 species in about 140 genera.

Camel spiders have appeared in many urban legends. In the Middle East and to some extent in Afghanistan, it is rumored among American and coalition military forces stationed there that camel spiders will feed on living human flesh. The foreign forces there believe that the creature will inject an anesthetic or venom into the skin of its sleeping victim, and then feed voraciously, leaving the victim to awaken with a gaping wound. However, they do not have such an anaesthetic or poison, excepting some species found in India. And they do not attack humans unless threatened.

Other stories about camel spiders say they leap into the air, disembowel camels, scream, and run alongside moving humvees. The greatest threat they pose to humans is their bite in self-defense. There is no chance of death directly caused by the bite, but, due to the strong muscles of their chelicerae, they can produce a proportionately large, ragged wound that is prone to infection.

Click HERE to view Camel Spider.

Camel Spider in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert

The Camel Spiders (Solifugae), also known as wind scorpions, jerrymuglum, sun scorpions and sun spiders, are not true spiders, which are from the order Araneae.

Most Solifugae inhabit arid habitats, including all deserts in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, including in Afghanistan, Mongolia, India, South Africa, and Middle East countries like Iraq. They are carnivorous or omnivorous; feed on termites, darkling beetles and other small arthropods. Solifugae have been recorded feeding on snakes, lizards and rodents. They do not normally attack humans, but their large chelicerae can penetrate human skin and cause much pain.

The larger species grow to 7 centimeters (2.8 inches) in length and have a leg span of 12 centimeters (5 inches). They have large chelicerae, each of the two chelicerae has two articles forming a powerful pincer and each article bears numerous teeth.

There are many legends about them. In the Middle East, soldiers of the American and coalition military forces believe that Solifugae will feed on living human flesh, stories as scary as vampires sucking blood and killing the victims. They say believe the creature will inject anaesthetizing venom into the skin of its sleeping victims and then feed voraciously, leaving the victim to awaken with a gaping wound. But these creatures do not produce such an anaesthetic or poison, and they do not attack unless they are threatened.

Other stories about them include tales that they leap into the air, disembowel camels, scream, and run alongside moving Humvees and other military vehicles. These stories are dismissed as baseless by biologists. But for because of their bizarre, scary appearance many people are afraid of them. The only threat they pose to humans is their bite in self-defense, mostly when they are hurt. There is no possibility of death due to their bite. However, due to the strong muscles of their chelicerae, they can cause large wounds prone to infection.

Solifugae apparently have no venom, with the possible exception of one species found in India. A published study of one species, Rhagodes nigrocinctus, carried out in India in 1978 by researchers found what they believed to be epidermal glands. Extracts from these glands were injected into lizards, on which it induced paralysis in 7 out of 10 tests.

But this study has never been confirmed by peer verification or research. While other researchers have been unable to locate similar glands in other species, this particular species found in India may possess venom.

However, insect bites of any type can be toxic and even dangerous if not treated, and the bites or injuries caused by camel spiders also need medical attention to avoid any complications. Also, there is nothing as dangerous about them as the westerners holed up in Afghanistan may like to tell others.

U.S. Air Force F-16 during Operation Iraqi freedom

Photo: A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon warplane flies a mission in the skies near Iraq on March 22, 2003 during Operation Iraqi freedom. The F-16s are from the 35th Fighter Wing "Wild Weasels" at Misawa Air Base in Japan. The photo is a U.S. Air Force photo taken by Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby.

Plutonium bombing of Nagasaki on August 9 1945

Photo: Mushroom cloud from the atomic explosion over Nagasaki rising 60,000 feet into the air on the morning of August 9, 1945. The picture was taken from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack.

On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki, the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan, was the target of the world's second atomic bomb attack by USA. It was bombed with the second plutonium bomb, after the first was tested in New Mexico, USA. The attack was at 11:02 AM when the north of the city was destroyed, and approximately 40,000 people were killed by the bomb nicknamed ‘Fat Man’.

Statistics found within Nagasaki Peace Park count the toll from the atomic bombing at 73,884 people dead, 74,909 people injured, and several hundred thousands of people diseased and dying due to nuclear fallout and other illness caused by atomic radiation.

The city was rebuilt after the Second World War. New temples and new churches were built due to an increase in the presence of Christianity. Nagasaki is the seat of a Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Some of the rubbles from the nuclear destruction were maintained as a memorial, and an arch near ground zero. New memorials, such as the Atomic Bomb Museum were also built. Nagasaki is the first and foremost a port city, supporting a rich shipping industry and setting a strong example of perseverance and peace.

Hiroshima, the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, was the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when USA dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 AM on August 6, 1945, near the end of World War II.

Kodak Theatre at Hollywood Boulevard

The Kodak Theatre, a live theatre in the Hollywood and Highland retail, dining, and entertainment complex on Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, was opened on November 9, 2001 with a seating capacity for 3,400 people. The theatre has been the home of the annual Academy Awards (Oscars) since March 2002 and the first permanent home for the Oscars. The stage is one of the largest in the United States, measuring 113 feet (34 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) deep. The theatre was sponsored by the Eastman Kodak company that paid $75 million to have its name associated with the building owned by the CIM Group.

Chilean Air Force’s F-16 Fighter Aircraft

Chilean Air Force is about 12,500 strong, and the air assets of Chile are distributed among five air brigades headquartered in Iquique, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, and an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica. The Air Force took delivery of the final 2 of 10 F-16s, all purchased from the U.S. in March 2007, and in the same year Chile also took delivery of reconditioned Block 15 F-16s from the Netherlands, bringing to 18 the total of F-16s purchased from the Dutch. F-16 stands for the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-role jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. F-16, a success on the export market, serves in the air forces of 25 nations, though no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The oldest heliographic engraving in the world

Photo: The first known surviving heliographic engraving in the world, made by French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1825 by contact under an engraving with the heliographic process.

Niepce’s seminal work was a step towards the first permanent photography taken with a camera obscura, an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is a reproduction of a 17th century Flemish engraving, showing a man leading a horse. The Bibliothèque nationale de France bought it for euro 450,000 € in 2002, deeming it as a national treasure.

Photography evolved as a result of studies and scientific inventions over many centuries. Long before the first photographs were shot, Chinese philosopher Mo Di described a pinhole camera in 5th century BCE. Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040) studied the camera obscura and pinhole camera, Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) invented silver nitrate, and Georges Fabricius (1516-1571) invented silver chloride. Daniel Barbaro described a diaphragm in 1568. Wilhelm Homberg explained photochemical effect, i.e., how light darkened some chemicals, in 1694. The fiction book Giphantie (1760) by French author Tiphaigne de la Roche described what can be interpreted as photography.

The first permanent photo-etching was an image produced in 1822 by Nicéphore Niépce, but it was destroyed by an attempt to duplicate it. However, Niépce was successful to produce another etching again in 1825 (see photo). He made the first permanent photograph with a camera obscura in 1826. His photographs took as long as 8 hours to expose. So, to find a new process, he worked with Louis Daguerre and they experimented with silver compounds, based on the discovery by Johann Heinrich Schultz in 1724 that a silver and chalk mixture darkens when exposed to light.

Though Niépce died in 1833, Daguerre continued the work and developed the daguerreotype in 1837, and took the first ever photo of a person in 1839 when, while taking a daguerreotype of a Paris street, a pedestrian stopped for a shoe shine, long enough to be captured by the long exposure of several minutes. Later, France agreed to pay Daguerre a pension for his formula in exchange for his promise to announce his discovery to the world as the gift of France which he did in 1839.

Wootton bridge collapse and forensic photography

The camera has a long history as a means of recording phenomena from the first use by Daguerre and Fox-Talbot, such as astronomical events, eclipses for example, small creatures and plants when the camera was attached to the eyepiece of microscopes (photo-microscopy) and for macro photography of larger specimens. The camera also proved useful in recording crime scenes and the scenes of accidents such as the Wootton bridge collapse on 11 June 1861. The rail bridge at Wootton collapsed under the weight of a passing goods train on the line between Leamington Spa and Kenilworth owned by the London and North Western Railway Company.

For the first time, under the orders of the courts, photos were taken to record the scene using both long distance shots and close-ups of the debris. The photographs were used in courts of inquiry, and the technique is now commonplace in courts of law. Then photographs were made on a large plate camera with a small aperture and using fine grain emulsion film on a glass plate. When the positive prints are scanned at high resolution, they can be enlarged to show details of the components. The methods used in analyzing old photographs are collectively known as forensic photography.

Canon Digital Camera IXUS

The Digital IXUS (IXY Digital in Japan and PowerShot Digital ELPH in US and Canada) is a series of ultra-compact digital cameras released by Canon. The first Digital IXUS released in June 2000 fitted the technology of the PowerShot S10 into a body similar to the APS IXUS II. Between 2003 and 2004, starting with the Digital IXUS II, Canon moved from the use of CF cards to SD cards to create thinner cameras.

Canon's PowerShot A and S line of the time were being made as small as contemporary technology allowed. Canon used its experience with small film cameras, particularly the APS IXUS, to mass-produce good digital cameras smaller than anyone else had managed up to the time.

Pearl of Allah: the largest pearl in the world

The largest known pearl in the world, Pearl of Allah, was found in Philippines in 1934. It is a natural, non-nacreous, calcareous concretion pearl from a giant clam. It did not grow in a pearl oyster and hence it is not pearl-shaped, but instead, it has a porcelain-like surface, or glossy like a china plate. Other pearls from giant clams also exist, but this is a very large one.

This pearl is the product of a giant clam, Tridacna gigas, which cannot be grafted. The pearl is also a whole pearl, not a mabe pearl, and whole pearl culturing technology is only 100 years old.

Pearl of Allah is not a gem-quality pearl, but a rare very costly natural pearl. It measures 24 centimeters in diameter (9.45 inches) and weighs 6.4 kilograms (14.1 lb). It is an interesting piece of natural history surrounded by extraordinary stories and legends.

It was discovered by an anonymous Filipino Muslim diver, off the island of Palawan in 1934. According to legends, a Palawan chieftain gave the pearl to Wilbur Dowell Cobb, an American, in 1936 as a gift for saving the life of his son, who was stricken with malaria. The pearl was named the ‘Pearl of Allah’ by the Muslim tribal chief, as it resembled a turbaned head.

After Cobb took the pearl to USA, it was exhibited at the ‘Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium’ in New York, and it was valued at $3.5 million. Gemologist Michael Steenrod in Colorado Springs has appraised the pearl at $60 million in 1982 and $93 million in 2007. Another 1982 appraisal, by Lee Sparrow of the San Francisco Gem Lab, value the pearl at $42 million.

Pearl Market in Beijing, China

Photo: The famous Pearl Market in Beijing, dated March 24, 2006. Dimension: 1600 x 1200 pixels, size: 373 KB. Click on photo for an enlarged view and save the photo.

A pearl is a hard, generally spherical substance formed within the soft tissue, specifically the mantle, of a living shelled mollusk, and made up of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The finest natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones for many centuries.

Precious pearls occur in the wild but they are very rare. Cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters make up the major chunk of pearls sold in the market. Seawater Pearls are more valuable than freshwater pearls.

Imitation or fake pearls are also widely sold in inexpensive jewelry. Pearls have also been crushed and used in cosmetics, medicines, or in paint formulations.

In 1914 pearl farmers began growing cultured freshwater pearls using the pearl mussels native to Lake Biwa, the largest and most ancient lake in Japan, near the city of Kyoto. Japanese pearl farmers recently developed a hybrid pearl mussel, a cross between Biwa Pearl Mussels and a closely related species from China, Hyriopsis cumingi, in Lake Kasumigaura.

Japanese pearl producers also invested in producing cultured pearls with freshwater mussels in Shanghai, China, which is currently the world's largest producer of freshwater pearls, producing more than 1,500 metric tons per year.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

African-American Actress Hattie McDaniel

African-American Actress Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 - October 26, 1952) was the first African-American to win an Academy Award in any category, winning the Best Supporting Actress award for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939).

American gossip columnist Louella Parsons wrote about the Oscar night of 1940, "Hattie McDaniel earned that gold Oscar, by her fine performance of "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind. If you had seen her face when she walked up to the platform and took the gold trophy, you would have had the choke in your voice that all of us had when Hattie, hair trimmed with gardenias, face alight, and dress up to the queen's taste, accepted the honor in one of the finest speeches ever given on the Academy floor. She put her heart right into those words and expressed not only for herself, but for every member of her race, the gratitude she felt that she had been given recognition by the Academy. Fay Bainter, with voice trembling, introduced Hattie and spoke of the happiness she felt in bestowing upon the beaming actress Hollywood's greatest honor. Her proudest possession is the red silk petticoat that David Selznick gave her when she finished Gone with the Wind".

Hattie McDaniel in her acceptance Speech delivered on February 29, 1940 at the 12th Annual Academy Awards said, "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you."

In November 2009 the acclaimed star of the film ‘Precious’, African-American actress Mo'Nique said, "I own the rights to Hattie McDaniel's life story, and I can't wait to tell that story, because that woman was absolutely amazing. She had to stand up to the adversity of black and white society at a time when we really weren't accepted. Mr. Lee Daniels is going to direct it, of course, and I'm going to be Miss Hattie McDaniel. I really hope I can do that woman justice."

Mo'Nique went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar Award at the 82nd Academy awards and, in her acceptance speech for the award, Mo’Nique said, “I want to thank Miss Hattie McDaniel for enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to.” Mo’Nique was dressed in a blue dress, with gardenias in her hair, as homage to McDaniel, who wore the same dress for the Oscar Award ceremony in 1939.

Hattie McDaniel’s first film appearance was in The Golden West (1932) as a maid. She made her last film appearances in Mickey (1948) and Family Honeymoon (1949). McDaniel was also a professional singer, songwriter, comedienne, stage actress, radio performer and television star. In her film career McDaniel appeared in over 300 films. In 2006 Hattie McDaniel became the first black Oscar winner to be honored with a US postage stamp.

Jonas Brothers at Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future

Photo: The Jonas Brothers perform at the ‘Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future’ concert at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington DC on January 19, 2009; photo courtesy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark O'Donald.

The Jonas Brothers is an American pop rock boy band consisting of three brothers, namely, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas, which became popular in the Disney Channel children's television network. They hail from Jersey Shore, New Jersey. In the summer of 2008, they starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock. They have released the albums ‘It's About Time’, ‘Jonas Brothers’, ‘A Little Bit Longer’, and ‘Lines, Vines and Trying Times’. In 2008, the band was nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 51st Grammy Awards and they won the award for Breakthrough Artist at the American Music Awards. They are active since 2005 and known for Pop, Soft Rock, and Teen Pop genres.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The dormant volcanic Mount Ararat in Turkey

Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey having two peaks: the Greater Ararat, the tallest peak in Turkey and the entire Armenian plateau with an elevation of 5,137 meter (16,854 ft) and the Lesser Ararat with an elevation of 3,896 meter (12,782 ft).

The Ararat massif is about 40 km in diameter. The Iran-Turkey boundary skirts east of Lesser Ararat, the lower peak of the Ararat massif. It has been reported that this flank had been used by Kurdish rebel tribes to organize uprisings against Turkey in the past.

In Judeo-Christian tradition and belief, Mount Ararat is associated with the ‘Mountains of Ararat’ where according to the book of Genesis in the Bible, The Noah's Ark came to rest. This mount also plays a very significant role in Armenian nationalism.

The Dolmabahce Palace, Turkey

The Dolmabahçe Palace, or Dolmabahçe Sarayı in Turkish, in Istanbul, Turkey, located at the European side of the Bosporus, used to be the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, except a twenty-year interval from 1889 to 1909 in which the Yıldız Palace was used. The Dolmabahce Palace was built between 1843 and 1856 under the orders of the Turkish Empire's 31st Sultan, Abdülmecid I. The 45,000 square meter mono-block palace stands on an area of 110,000 squire meters. Hacı Said Ağa was responsible for the construction work of the palace, while the project was conceptualized by architects Garabet Balyan, his son Nigoğayos Balyan and Evanis Kalfa.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge view from the Presidio in San Francisco to the northwest, towards the Marin County headlands, photograph taken on 19 April 2002 by Peter Craig.

The Golden Gate Bridge, an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California, is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. It connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County and was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, but now surpassed by other bridges. The bridge still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.

Combate Naval de Iquique: oil painting by Thomas Somerscales

Combate Naval de Iquique, oil on canvas painting by Thomas Somerscales (XIX century) shows the Naval Battle of Iquique confrontation that occurred on May 21, 1879, during the naval stage of the War of the Pacific, a conflict between Chile and the alliance between Peru and Bolivia.