Tag Archives: country

Mexico’s wine country – Valle de Guadalupe – is on the rise

Baja California seems like the perfect place to recreate that Italian sense of wine. Both are peninsulas with rolling hills of heat and fresh ocean breezes, perfect for a multitude of grape varieties. Food is central to the culture, like it is in Italy, with most Mexicans in the area practicing some sort of agriculture, aquaculture, or livestock herding. Finally, both have a bustling tourist industry more than ready to accommodate wine loving visitors.

Mark my words, Baja California is on the rise as a wine destination.

A review of Deckman’s seasonal restaurant located on the El Mogor winery:

My dear pal took me to Baja’s wine country – the Valle de Guadalupe near Ensenada – to lunch under the pine trees at Drew Deckman’s new seasonal restaurant at the charming Mogor Badan winery…there is no dearth of fine eateries in the Ensenada area.

And all take full advantage of what the region offers including organic produce; regional cheeses in both the farm and European styles; hand-crafted wines that are winning accolades throughout the world, and meats and seafood that are cultivated locally.

 

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Is there prize money given with olympic medals?

There’s no pay from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) when they win a medal. But many countries Olympic committees pay their athletes for winning medals. Among them, The U.S., Russia, Canada, China & Italy and many more countries.

$20K-$50K per gold medal is typical in bigger countries. The smaller countries actually tend to pay more, $50K-$100K, since a single gold is more important to their country. Some athletes receive cars, houses and promise of jobs when they retire.

 

Source: Yahoo! Answers

 

In the U.S., our athletes receive, from the U.S. Olympic Committee, $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.

Swimmers, receive even more thanks to an organization called USA Swimming, who chips in an additional $75,000 for gold, as has been highly publicized for Missy Franklin.

 

 

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Discover the Welsh language

Closely related to Cornish, the native language of the English county Cornwall, and to Breton, the native language of Brittany, north western France, Welsh – or Cymraeg to its speakers – dates back to the 6th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest living languages. It evolved from the Celtic language spoken by the ancient Britons and was handed down through the generations until the 19th century, when the industrial revolution brought about an alarming erosion of the Welsh language.

Since then the battle to save Cymraeg has been inextricably linked with Wales’s national identity, and much has been done to promote its usage. At the uppermost level, political parties have been founded (Plaid Cymru began in 1925 with a primary mandate of promoting the language) and acts of parliament have been passed, but the future of the Welsh language has also been embraced by its people. A passion for keeping it alive has led to everything from adopting bilingual road signs to the Welsh television channel S4C.

Today Welsh is not the dead language many would have you believe (and indeed many feared it would become). Welsh is now growing again and, according to a survey by the Welsh Language Board, is spoken by 21% of the Welsh population, 62% of whom speak it on a daily basis.

Although many places in Wales now have English names, the Welsh language still appears in numerous village and town names and, although all the locals speak English, understanding a smattering of Welsh will help visitors understand the heritage of where they are visiting. Undoubtedly the most famous place name is the tongue-twistingLlanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which in English is translated as the fantastically descriptive “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave”.

Even the most basic knowledge of Welsh will inform a visit to this proud and heritage-rich country, so why not make a start with these simple phrases:

Hello Shw mae (“shoo my”)
Goodbye Hwyl (“hooil”)
Welcome Croeso (“croy so”)
Thank you Diolch (“dee-olck”)

 

Source: Discover Wales: The Living Language

 

Also, read about the 641 castles in Wales.

 

 

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Twitter now has more than half a billion accounts worldwide

A milestone for Twitter today, according to the Paris-based analyst group Semiocast. The social network has now passed the half-billion account mark — specifically 517 million accounts as of July 1, 2012, with 141.8 million of those users in the U.S., still about half as many users as Facebook has but positioning it as the second-biggest social networking site.

And just as most of Twitter’s users are coming from outside the U.S., so are the tweets: the top three cities in terms of tweets, it says, are Jakarta, Tokyo and London.

 

Source: TechCrunch - Analyst: Twitter Passed 500M Users In June 2012, 140M Of Them In US; Jakarta ‘Biggest Tweeting’ City

 

 

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8 clean energy predictions from a decade ago…that were way wrong

From the Fresh Energy blog and a good reminder that most experts have trouble thinking exponentially.

 

WIND

  • In 2000, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its World Energy Outlook, predicting that non-hydro renewable energy would comprise 3 percent of global energy by 2020. That benchmark was reached in 2008.
  • In 2000, IEA projected that there would be 30 gigawatts of wind power worldwide by 2010, but the estimate was off by a factor of 7. Wind power produced 200 gigawatts in 2010, an investment of approximately $400 billion.
  • In 1999, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that total U.S. wind power capacity could reach 10 gigawatts by 2010. The country reached that amount in 2006 and quadrupled between 2006 and 2010.
  • In 2000, the European Wind Energy Association predicted Europe would have 50 gigawatts of wind by 2010 and boosted that estimate to 75 two years later. Actually, 84 gigawatts of wind power were feeding into the European electric grid by 2012.
  • In 2000, IEA estimated that China would have 2 gigwatts of wind power installed by 2010. China reached 45 gigawatts by the end of 2010. The IEA projected that China wind power in 2020 would be 3.7 gigawatts, but most projections now exceed 150 gigawatts, or 40 times more.

SOLAR

  • In 2000, total installed global photovoltaic solar capacity was 1.5 gigawatts, and most of it was off-the-grid, like solar on NASA satellites or on cabins in the mountains or woods.
  • In 2002, a top industry analyst predicted an additional 1 gigawatt annual market by 2010. The annual market in 2010 was 17 times that at 17 gigawatts.
  • In 1996, the World Bank estimated 0.5 gigwatts of solar photovoltaic in China by 2020, but China reached almost double that mark—900 megawatts by 2010.

 

 

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The coolest playgrounds in America

MonstroCity, St. Louis – Built out of found objects, this “post-Apocalyptic” structure is part of the eclectic City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. (City Museum)

 

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The Unites States of Pie – yum!

We hold this truth to be self-evident: America loves pie.

Food writer Adrienne Kane celebrates that right. She has gathered those regional pie recipes into a new cookbook, United States of Pie.

Some excerpts from the interview:

Bakewell Pie: “is adapted from the very common English dessert, Bakewell Tart. I found the Bakewell Pie recipe in an 1886 cookbook called The Unrivalled Cook-book and [Housekeeper's] Guide. It’s a raspberry jam on the bottom, and then an almond meal sponge on top. It’s not too sweet, so

Chocolate Raisin Pie: “It’s sort of like a brownie in a pie, and it has that wonderful combination of chocolate and raisins — think Raisinets,” Kane says. “And it’s obviously from the West Coast, actually from Southern California. It comes from the fact that California is grape country and raisin country, and it’s sort of an adaptation of using what’s around you.”

Sack Pie: “That is an intriguing recipe. You bake the entire pie in a large paper bag, and so it steams the fruit and the fruit becomes very tender. And then at the last moment, you take it out of the bag and finish it off in the oven and just sort of brown the crust and the top … It sort of smells papery in your kitchen for the first half-hour or so, but I will tell you that it doesn’t taste papery at all.”

 

Source: NPR – A Pie For All Regions: Serving Up The American Slice

 

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World map of social networks

The most dominant social network for each country:

 

 

Facebook clearly dominates, but a few countries have other favorites:

VKontakte and Odnoklassniki remain strong in Russian-speaking countries
- Tencent’s QZone is still king of the hill in China
- Vietnam’s most popular social network is Zing
- People in Iran seemingly prefer Cloob over Facebook
Drauglem is the top dog in Latvia

 

Learn moreFacebook is eating the world, except for China and Russia

Stereotypes in Europe – hardest working, most corrupt

Among the usual questions about attitudes to the euro and the European Union, people in eight nations (Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain) were asked which country in the European Union is the hardest-working.

The Greeks ignored the obvious answer (Germany) and instead nominated themselves. (The other seven nations all plumped for Germany, as the table shows.) Yet Greek perception is not quite as misaligned with reality as it seems. Greece does actually work the longest hours in Europe…However, as any economist will tell you, working longer does not equate with higher productivity, and Greece’s productivity is relatively low.

via Economist Daily Chart

 

Also, very interesting to look at the “most corrupt” column where Italy dominates, but four countries consider themselves the most corrupt (even the Italians).

United Nations has gone mobile – so many apps for world peace and development

The United Nations has gone mobile…in a big way. In just a few clicks I found more than 10 iPhone apps covering everything from news to statistics to global photos.

Plus, a very cool short video about the apps from Jess3:

 

I’ve just downloaded all these apps and haven’t yet played with them, so no recommendations yet. Let me know if you have any suggestions or tips:

 
 
Pieces of Peace

The app makes it easy to get involved and includes some innovative (and fun) ways to learn about the work of the United Nations. An interactive photo-scramble game, “Pieces of Peace,” gives users the ability to have fun while they learn by unscrambling photos taken around the world that are related to the work of the UN. The game includes ways for users to learn as they play, helping build awareness and knowledge about international issues. Integrated social media options also allow users to organically share this content with friends, brag about their photo-unscrambling prowess, and encourage them to get involved.
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