Bad Beach Blanket Bingo – WIF 10 Cent Travel

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The World’s

Nastiest Beaches

When most of us think about beaches, we visualize pale sands, clear blue waters, and picturesque palm trees waving in the breeze. What we imagine are tropical paradises where we might soak up the sun’s golden rays, with tropical drinks in hand.

Unfortunately, there are beaches that don’t measure up to our fantasies. Some of the beaches on today’s list are unpleasant places. They get bad press for good reason.

10. Henderson Island, British Overseas Territories

If visiting a beach that’s polluted by a whopping 18 tons of plastic sounds good to you, you may want to plan an excursion to Henderson Island. This isolated island is uninhabited and it is home to sugar-sand beaches, which are unfortunately marred by the presence of plastics and other garbage from Japan, America, and a host of other nations.

So, how does all of this trash arrive at Henderson Island, which is part of the Pitcairn Islands Groups, which is a British Overseas Territory? Well, Henderson Island, which is a notable marine reserve, has ended up with trash on — and buried inches under — the sands due to a strong ocean current known as the South Pacific gyre.

This circular current sends debris from international seas directly onto Henderson Island’s shores. Every day 3,500 pieces of garbage end up on the shores.

This island is at the halfway point between Peru and New Zealand. Right now, experts estimate that 38 million pieces of plastic are present on the island’s beaches. The hermit crabs of Henderson Island have taken to living in plastic containers and birds and other wildlife are consuming plastics.

Back in the ’80s, the island was a pristine paradise, which earned a World Heritage Site designation, thanks to its unspoiled beauty.

9. Cabrillo Beach (Harbor-Facing Side), Los Angeles, USA

You’ll find Cabrillo Beach in Los Angeles. This beach should be an ideal place to frolic in the water and chill out on the sand, but pollution has made the harbor-facing side of this beach an unappealing destination for city residents and tourists. Cabrillo Beach’s harbor-facing side has the dubious distinction of being one of the USA’s dirtiest beaches.

The beaches of California are prone to pollution from urban runoff that lands in the ocean, plus rusted septic and sewer systems. Decomposing algae and kelp also contribute to pollution problems. The section of Cabrillo Beach that faces the harbor of San Pedro is subject to all of these issues, and it’s been ranked as one of the most polluted beaches in the Golden State.

Interestingly, the oceanside section of Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, is in good shape, pollution-wise. This is because the two sides of the beach are separated by a seawall, as well as a long pier. Sadly, the side facing the harbor is anything but pristine, in part because of icky human bacteria that enters the waters through a source that is currently unknown.

If you want to go swimming at Cabrillo Beach, stick to the oceanside area. If you want to swim at a beach that’s known for being one of the cleanest in the region, consider heading for Las Tunas County Beach in Malibu.

8. Kamilo Beach, Hawaii, USA

This beach used to be stunning and relatively unspoiled. Now, Hawaii’s Kamilo Beach is saddled with two nicknames, “Plastic Beach” and “Trash Beach,” which speak volumes. This beach is off the beaten track and used to be a hidden gem for adventurous beach lovers, who were willing to take 4-wheel drive vehicles down an unpaved road to get there.

Now, people visit Kamilo Beach to gawk at the astounding amount of garbage that is mixed in with the sand. Some come to help clean it up. The trash on this Hawaii beach really piles up and this trash comes from the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This patch is a collection of marine litter that’s situated in the North Pacific Ocean.

Kamilo Beach currents are unique and these currents push plenty of things onto the stores, including garbage, logs, and dead animals.

Logs aren’t so common on the shores these days, but an abundance of plastic arrives regularly. Ninety percent of the debris that washes up on the shores is composed of plastic.

At Kamilo Beach, the sand is dotted with small pieces of bright plastics, many of which have faded a bit because of exposure to the elements. There are also bigger pieces of garbage, such as plastic vats. A lot of the garbage comes from the fishing industry.

The beach looks terrible. It stands out for the wrong reasons. It’s beach that is a total downer.

7. Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India

Another extremely dirty beach is Juhu Beach in Mumbai, India. It’s mega-polluted.

This beach isn’t part of an uninhabited island or tucked away in some out-of-the-way location. It’s part of an upscale Mumbai neighborhood where many Bollywood stars choose to live. While people are making a serious effort to clean up Juhu Beach, with some success, the pollution problem is major.

Pollution in the Arabian Sea is rising alarmingly, and an Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay report indicates that there may be more plastic than fish in the sea by the year 2050. According to the report, 50% of plastics that pollute the Arabian Sea have been generated in the past decade. Plastic usage is on the upswing and marine life (and beach-goers) are paying the price.

Hundreds of tons of trash have been removed from Juhu Beach, so it doesn’t look as bad as it used to, but the root issue that leads plastic and other garbage to wash up on the shores, which is rising pollution in the Arabian Sea, means that clean-up efforts will need to be aggressive and ongoing.

Although the beach can look picturesque sometimes, particularly, after clean-ups, the waters are always intensely polluted.

As of November 2019, the beach earns an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 at TripAdvisor. In November 2018, a reviewer described the beach’s waters as “black” due to pollution. In August of 2019, another visitor characterized the beach as a “disgrace” due to its overcrowding and general dirtiness.

People are valiantly trying to make this beach better, but it’s a 24/7 job which is an epic undertaking. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now overseeing clean-up operations, and these operations are changing things for the better. Large machines are needed to get rid of the trash that collects on the beach in the morning.

People who visit the beach may not realize just how polluted the water is, since garbage that washes onto the beach is now being cleaned up faster than it once was. Visitors, and those considering visiting Juhu Beach in the future, do need to know the truth.

Of course, there are concerned citizens who understand. Some of them are activists who are trying to turn things around.

6. Fujiazhuang Beach, Dalian, China

Do you want to share a beach with 50,000 other people? Probably not, right? This is what you’ll need to do if you decide to spend time at Fujiazhuang Beach in Dalian, China.

Beaches may be nasty for an array of reasons, including crazy overcrowding. This beach is widely considered to be the most crowded stretch of sand in the world. Visitors are encouraged to avoid swimming if they have skin ailments, or eye diseases, or gastrointestinal problems. They are also supposed to avoid smoking, spitting, and littering.

Will several tens of thousands of visitors follow all of these instructions? You know the answer.

So, why do people keep flocking to this beach? What is the attraction? Well, it’s a scenic pebble beach. It’s a pretty place, really.

The overcrowding is worst in summer. During spring, there is a lot more space to move around and enjoy the pretty locale. Unfortunately, the beach is polluted year-round. Food packaging and plastic waste are generated by all of the beach-goers.

This beach also gets a 3.5/5 rating at TripAdvisor (as of November 2019). Some extroverts enjoy the fact that so many people visit the beach during the high season, because it’s a socially vibrant environment, but others hate the overcrowding. People who gave Fujiazhuang Beach poor reviews commented on the fact that the beach’s pebbles were painful to walk on, noted the unpleasant pollution, and remarked that it was hard to see the water because of all of the people.

5. Villa Angela State Park, Ohio, USA

Villa Angela State Park is home to Villa Angela beach, which is connected to Euclid Beach. These beaches are known for having high bacteria levels in their waters. Unfortunately, the bacteria levels tend to stay high, rather than plummeting sometimes. Villa Angela State Park beach and its adjacent Euclid Beach are often unsafe to swim at.

Some of us expect American beaches to be safer than some international beaches, thanks to the Clean Water Act, but this isn’t always the case. American beaches may be filled with human fecal matter, or other nasty contaminants, just like beaches in undeveloped nations, or beaches in other countries that are developed.

USA residents, and tourists who visit American destinations, need to understand that American beaches can be hazardous sometimes — or all of the time. Anyone who wants the inside scoop on a beach’s safety should look for official reports before visiting and, especially, before swimming or wading.

So, what’s in the water at Villa Angela State Park in Ohio? Well, this state park’s beach is often filled with fecal matter that contaminates the water and may trigger respiratory illnesses, ear infections, intestinal distress, eye infections, and skin rashes. The main beach at the park is 900 feet in length and it’s a pretty place to be, but the waters are dirty, which is actually the case with many Ohio state beaches.

4. Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia

Beaches situated near this Victoria, Australia bay are places where roughly 800 million pieces of garbage flow into the waters yearly, via a couple of rivers. The situation at Port Phillip Bay beaches highlights the damage that pollution is doing to Melbourne’s coastline. Most of the pollution is plastic garbage, which surges into the bay and threatens the survival of marine life.

Microplastics in the water are a huge issue. These types of plastics are smaller in size than a typical fingernail. Plastic bags also end up in Port Phillip Bay waters. Feces contamination is also sometimes a problem at Port Phillip Bay beaches. Usually, flash flooding is the cause of high contamination from feces.

Port Phillip is home to a lot of beaches, which are generally long, flat, and shallow. These beaches are quite popular with tourists, because they offer gentle conditions for swimming. These beaches aren’t surfing beaches with big, rough waves.

Unfortunately, some tourists don’t know about all of the pollution in Port Phillip Bay. Popular beaches in this region include Dromana Beach, Sandringham Beach, St. Kilda Beach and Brighton Beach. Some of these beaches fail water quality tests on the regular.

3. Guanabara Bay Beaches, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Guanabara Bay Beaches in Rio land on most lists of the world’s most polluted beaches, including this list. The problem is the untreated human waste that pollutes the water.

When it comes to swimming in the waters of Guanabara Bay Beaches, strongly reconsider, as local neighborhoods are very short on sanitation, which means that water conditions are terrible, and that nasty microorganisms, and raw sewage, are rife within the water.

Some people who do swim at Guanabara Bay Beaches live to regret it, because they experience skin irritations and stomach problems afterwards. Athletes, including Olympic rowers, take pains to avoid splashing the bay’s waters on themselves or others. They also disinfect with sanitizing products while they are in their boats.

A beach shouldn’t make you sick. This beach very well might.

Exposure to pathogens from raw sewage from millions of Rio residents is just the beginning. At this beach, the water is also polluted by industrial waste. There are tons of refineries, pharmaceutical factories and oil and gas operations in the region. A huge amount of industrial wastewater ends up in the bay daily.

These beaches may look beautiful, but they have a dark side that local residents and tourists need to be aware of. If you’re going to hang out at these beaches, maybe don’t go in the water. Stick to a little people-watching and sun-bathing on the sand.

2. Freedom Island, Manila, Philippines

You may not want to load a beach tote or knapsack with towels, sunscreen, the latest juicy, best-selling novel, and drinks, and then head out for a day at the beach at Freedom Island, Manila, Philippines. Freedom Island’s sands are basically buried under piles of trash.

The Philippines is known for being a big generator of ocean plastic pollution and the garbage dump that Freedom Island has become is testament to the fact that the Philippines needs to reduce ocean plastic pollution as soon as possible.

The buildup of plastic waste is linked with the development of the sachet packaging craze in the Philippines. Sachets are plastic pouches which are fortified with aluminum layers that provide durability and shape. If you’ve opened a package of ketchup and squeezed the contents onto your french fries, you’ve used a sachet.

Sachets make life easier for Philippines residents, but this ease and convenience comes with a very heavy environmental price.

This Metro Manila beach is covered in plastic pollution. It’s really pretty horrible.

When waves are vomiting refuse onto the shores, and beaches turn into landfills, we should all be alarmed. It’s happening all over the world, including on Freedom Island.

1. El Gringo Beach, Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic

When a beach earns the unofficial title, “Dominican Chernobyl,” it’s a clear sign that the condition of the beach isn’t exactly safe or inspiring. El Gringo Beach in DR is remarkably filthy and some of its pollution is dangerous, hence its worrisome nickname.

People who visit El Gringo Beach need to worry about plastic pollution, as well as toxic levels of lead in the soil and sand. The lead comes from an illegal car battery recycling smelter. The car batteries recycled contained lead-acid. That smelter is now abandoned, but activities there caused significant environmental damage.

Those who go to this beach also have to be concerned with other forms of industrial waste that land in the waters and on the shores. Examples of toxins found the Bajos de Haina beach include the aforementioned lead, plus ammonium, formaldehyde, and sulfuric acid. These toxins are generated by oil refineries, manufacturing plants, and power plants in the region.

A non-profit organization called the Blacksmith Institute considers Bajos de Haina, which is home to El Gringo Beach, to be one of the most polluted areas of the planet. Toxins in the area are present in sand, soil, and water, and some of these toxins are also airborne.

Suffice is to say that El Gringo Beach isn’t the ideal location for a leisurely family beach picnic. It’s not the nicest place to go for a dip, either.


Bad Beach Blanket Bingo –

WIF 10 Cent Travel

Cheap Sleeps – Money Stretching Places to Live

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Cheapest Countries

to Live In

We’ve all been there. Sat at work on a spectacularly boring day, gazing out the window and dreaming about moving somewhere less resolutely meh. But it’s one thing dreaming about moving to London, or Paris, or Tokyo, and quite another turning up there, looking at the square feet of space your meager savings will buy and realizing that you haven’t thought this through at all.

 The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. While there are plenty of countries it will likely bankrupt you to move to, there are plenty more where even the most middle-of-the-road foreign income will see you living like a king. Here are 10 countries, gleaned from the annual Cost of Living Indexes published by Numbeo and Expatistan, where it’s cheapest to live in 2017:

10. Mexico

America’s southern neighbor is mainly famous in the north for sombreros, Tex-Mex, and drug violence. But as we revealed in a recent article, there’s so, so much more to the ancient home of the Aztecs than that. Aside from the long history and vibrant culture of Mexico City, there’s some 60-odd indigenous groups speaking a mix of languages, crumbling Aztec ruins, unique traditions from each Mexican state, and coastline galore. Oh, and did we mention it’s very, very cheap?

Numbeo estimates the cost of living in Mexico to be nearly 60% lower than living in the US. Outside the capital, you can rent a 3 bedroom apartment near the center of a city for an average of $480 a month. You can get a meal for two in a decent restaurant for twenty bucks. A transport ticket costs under 40 cents. Someone, get us to Tijuana.

Of course, this is all assuming you’re moving abroad with a US salary or pension. In terms of local purchasing power, Mexico sits somewhere in the middle of the list, meaning a local on the average wage can buy maybe half the stuff a local on the average wage in the US can.

9. Tunisia

It would probably be stretching the limits of acceptable writing to describe Tunisia as the jewel in North Africa’s crown, but we’re gonna do it anyway. The tiny desert nation is home to 10 million, all crammed into a handful of ancient cities that are staggeringly beautiful. This is the place where all the Tatooine scenes were filmed for the first Star Wars, which should give you some idea of how visually-arresting the country is. Then there’s the crazy affordability. The cost of renting a 1 bed apartment in a bustling city center? $160 per month.

On the other hand, Tunisia suffers a downside Mexico doesn’t: it borders Libya. Since the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya has been a haven for ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and about a bazillion other crazy rebel groups, all itching to kill Western tourists. In 2015, an armed gunman trained in Libya attacked a five star hotel in Sousse, killing 38, including 30 Brits; making it the deadliest day for UK citizens since the 7/7 London bombings a decade earlier. As a result, the UK Foreign Office now advises against all but essential travel to Tunisia. The US government likewise advises extreme caution when visiting.

8. Moldova

Hands up: who can point to Moldova on a map? Eastern Europe’s least-visited country is a tiny sliver of land sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, and locked in a perpetual war with its pro-Russian population. We don’t mean that metaphorically. Moldova’s eastern flank has been occupied since the early 1990s by an insurgent army who set up their own, autonomous republic known as Transnistria. Although the conflict is “frozen” (no one has been killed in ages), it is still a potential flash point in Europe’s poorest nation.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind Soviet architecture, cold winters, and the possibility of Putin annexing your living room, Moldova has a lot going for it. Aside from being crazy cheap – the cost of living is 62% lower than in the US – it’s one of the biggest wine producing nations on Earth, with over 200 km of tunnels filled with wine buried beneath one monastery. Plus, Chisinau is getting a reputation as one of Europe’s party capitals. Double plus, you get to say you’ve lived in Moldova. How many of your friends can say that? None.

7. Nepal

It’s the country where Everest lives. That’s all you really need to know about Nepal, a fascinating mountain nation that has been wowing travelers ever since they first set eyes on it. Sagarmatha, as the locals call it, is just the biggest of the world class peaks dotting this frozen, high-altitude land, each sheerer and scarier than the last. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also ancient Buddhist temples, mysterious mountain villages, and wild elephants you can ethically ride and oh our God yes, that’s actually a real thing. Shut up and take our money!

Speaking of the $$$, Nepal’s actually kind of an odd one. Numbeo ranks it as a hair more expensive than Mexico, but Expatistan ranks Kathmandu as cheaper than any city in Moldova. So we’re adding it here just to be on the safe side.

However, before you leap on that plane, we should warn you that things aren’t all peachy. In 2015, Kathmandu suffered a horrifying earthquake that killed 10,000 and nearly leveled the city. The damage costs were equivalent to 50% of Nepal’s GDP, and reconstruction is still barely underway. Although locals would doubtless appreciate you adding your tourist dollars to the local economy, it’s perhaps still a bit soon to think about moving permanently.

6. Syria

Yeah. Syria.

We’re not exaggerating when we say Syria was once one of the most beautiful places on Earth. If you don’t believe us, check out these pictures. It was a land of mountains and winding rivers and valleys and ancient castles and cities that have been standing since the dawn of time. As the Syrian Tourist Board is currently at pains to point out, a stretch of coast about 120 miles long that has miraculously avoided the fighting remains wonderful. And it’s about 63% cheaper than living in the US, too.

 Of course, even the relatively safe coastline isn’t somewhere you should be heading anytime soon. Since 2011, Syria has been caught up in the deadliest civil war of the century, with an estimated 250,000 being killed and around 4 million being left homeless. ISIS, AL-Qaeda and other groups are fighting Kurdish paramilitaries, Assad’s regime forces, and about 100 other rebel factions as Russian jets scream overhead, dropping bombs. It ain’t a safe place. But even a war as awful as this can’t last forever. Perhaps in another decade or so outsiders will be able to go back in and witness the beauty of the Middle East’s most tragic country.

5. Azerbaijan

You didn’t expect a wealthy petro-state to be on this list, did you? Situated on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is an oil rich collision of east and west, a place where gigantic glass towers dominate the money-soaked capital, and emerging dictator Ilham Aliyev has made a hobby out of jailing democracy activists. About the size of South Carolina (or Scotland), the ‘Land of Fire’ is both a hyper-expensive Dubai of the Caucasus Region, and a place where you can rent an apartment for less than $150 per month.

So, what’s with this great contrast? Well, you know how New York and California seem to suck in all the money and energy, and London is like Britain’s NYC plus Britain’s Silicon Valley? Baku is like London plus every single other city that isn’t in terminal decline. The rest of the country is basically a rural world of farming sheep and kicking back and eking out an existence on the average wage of $260 a month, an amount that makes $150 for an apartment suddenly look like daylight robbery. Still, at least you get to live in a country that has a place called ‘fire mountain’ that really is a mountain that’s literally on fire.

4. Georgia

If you want all the excitement of living in the Caucasus region, but for some inexplicable reason don’t dig the idea of residing within driving distance of a flaming fire mountain, you could always opt for Georgia. The Christian flipside to Azerbaijan’s Muslim culture, the two neighbors are historic allies, largely due to a mutual dislike of nearby Armenia. The big difference comes with their neighbors to the north. While Azerbaijan and Russia have a cold yet cordial relationship, Georgia got invaded by Putin in 2008.

Since then, the tiny South Ossetia region has been under de-facto Russian control, in a situation kinda like that of Moldova and Transnistria. Only Georgia has the additional headache of another area like that. The unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia declared independence years ago, with Moscow guaranteeing its territorial integrity; meaning Tbilisi actually has control of far less of its 69,000 square kilometer territory than most similarly-sized nations.

On the plus side, Georgia is perfect if you like untouched wilderness, craggy peaks, and little mountain villages lost to time. And if you like your beer to cost 70 cents, which is really the important thing.

3. Pakistan

If you want a (potentially short) life of non-stop excitement, you could do worse than moving to Pakistan. India’s long-term rival, Pakistan is home to Karachi, the world’s most violent megacity, an unrecognized republic controlled by insurgents known as Balochistan, deadly terror groups, armed kidnappers, and the occasional mega-earthquake. It’s also a nuclear state that frequently tries to start wars with another nuclear state (India).

In fact, Pakistan is so fundamentally wild that its government recently issued a decree that all foreigners must stay within a single city unless they hire a security detail and inform the government of their travel plans, in case they wind up with a severe case of death. With advice like that, hearing that an apartment can go for as little as $77 per month likely comes as cold comfort.

Still, if you go happen to go out there, at least you’ll be in one of the prettiest, most historic countries on Earth. Aside from the mountains, there are forts built by the Mughals, old colonial relics from the British days, and some of the grandest Islamic monuments ever built.

2. Ukraine

According to Numbeo, Ukraine is home to the cheapest McDonald’s combo meal in the whole of Europe. You can get a Big Mac, fries and a drink for under $2.50. We’re not gonna say this is a good reason for you to pack your bags and head to Ukraine, but it’s certainly a reason… another being that life in general in Ukraine is 65% cheaper than life in America.

Not that this is much use to the locals. The average salary across the whole nation is under $200 a month. As a result, Ukraine only just misses the bottom 10 countries for local purchasing power, ranking under Zimbabwe, Moldova and El Salvador, and only just higher than Nigeria and Nepal. An average Ukrainian salary will buy you 26% of what an average American salary will buy you. Then there’s the not-quite-frozen conflict in the country’s east, which has killed about 10,000 in nearly three years (once again, as with so many on this list, Russia is involved).

On the other hand, if you can stomach the screaming inequality, unbelievably cold winters and territorial crisis, then Ukraine is almost breathtakingly beautiful. There’s its snatch of haunting mountains in the West, its two great, ancient cities of Lviv and Kiev, and, finally, its ridiculously good-looking citizens. If you need us, we’ll be booking our flights to Kiev.

1. India

This is it, possibly the cheapest country on planet Earth. India has mid-range restaurants where two people can eat world-beating food for under $10. It has taxis that will wait for you for an hour and charge less than a dollar. It has apartments for slightly over $100 per month. In the southern city of Thiruvananthapuram, utilities can cost only twenty bucks a month. With an income of under $1,000 a month, you can live like a freakin’ king.

It’s also, y’know, famously one of the most picturesque nations on Earth. There’s the Taj Mahal, the ancient city of Varanasi, the Himalayas, Raj-era hill towns, creaking old railway lines, the lush, tropical south, and the venerated, epic, eternal Ganges. You’ve got Bollywood, curry, tigers, ancient history, epic gorges, friendly people and a floating temple that is literally made of gold. Plus, Octopussy was set here. Man, we must’ve seen that movie… twice.

 Of course, it ain’t all fun and highly-choreographed dance numbers. There’s shocking inequality, extreme poverty, deadly diseases, sporadic ethnic violence, and the eternal possibility of nuclear war with Pakistan. But is it worth it? You check these pictures and decide for yourself. (The correct answer is ‘yes’.)

Cost of Living Havens

– WIF Economics

Kumbhalgarh – The Great Wall of India?

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WIF-001

Kumbhalgarh Fort: the Great Wall of India?

 
Image result for kumbhalgarh fort
You’re probably familiar with China’s “great wall,” but did you know there’s another one in India?At almost 4,000 miles long, the Great Wall of China is so massive it can be seen from space. It also receives more than 10 million visitors a year. If you prefer smaller crowds and wandering off the beaten path, the Great Wall of India — the second longest in the world — might be for you.Even though it’s a Unesco World Heritage Site, the Kumbhalgarh Fort in western India is virtually a secret to tourists and Indians alike. The 22-mile long wall, which protects a massive hilltop fort and houses 360 temples, took a century to build.

The hike to the fort is steep, but the views of the mountainous Rajasthan landscape are stunning — and something most people don’t see. There’s also a wildlife sanctuary for leopards, jackals and other animals near the fort.


Kumbhalgarh (wikipedia)

Kumbhalgarh Fort
Kumbhalmer, Kumbalgarh
The walls of the fort of Kumbhalgarh extend over 38 km, claimed to be the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China.

The walls of the fort of Kumbhalgarh extend over 38 km, claimed to be the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is located in Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh Fort
Kumbhalgarh Fort

Location in Rajasthan, India

Coordinates: 25.1475°N 73.5831°ECoordinates: 25.1475°N 73.5831°E
Country  India
State Rajasthan
District Rajsamand
Elevation 1,100 m (3,600 ft)
Languages
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Vehicle registration RJ 30
Website www.kumbhalgarh.com
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hill Forts of Rajasthan
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii
Reference 247
UNESCO region South Asia
Inscription history
Inscription 2013 (36th Session)

Kumbhalgarh Fort is a Mewar fortress in the Rajsamand Districtof Rajasthan state in western India. It is a World Heritage Siteincluded in Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and enlarged through the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening. Kumbalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It is the most important fort inMewar after Chittaurgarh.

In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Kumbhalgarh Fort, along with 5 other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Siteunder the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

Construction

The massive gate of Kumbhalgarh fort, called the Ram Pol (Ram Gate). Built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century on an unassailable hill, the fort fell only once, due to a shortage of water.

Built on a hilltop 1100 metres above sea level, the fort of Kumbhalgarh has perimeter walls that extend 36 kilometres, it is the second longest wall in the world.The frontal walls are fifteen feet thick. Kumbhalgarh has seven fortified gateways. There are over 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain and the restHindu. From the palace top, it is possible to see kilometers into theAravalli Range. The sand dunes of the Thar desert can be seen from the fort walls.

According to legend, in 1443, the Maharana of Kumbhalgarh, Rana Kumbha, was initially repeatedly unsuccessful in attempts to build the fort wall. A spiritual preceptor was consulted about the construction problems and advised the ruler that a voluntary human sacrifice would solve whatever was causing the impediment. The spiritual advisor advised building a temple where the head should fall and building the wall and the fort where the rest of his body lay. As can be expected, for some time no one volunteered, but one day, a pilgrim (some versions suggest a soldier, and some, that the spiritual preceptor and the pilgrim were one and the same) volunteered and was ritually decapitated. Today the main gate of the fortress, Hanuman Pol, contains a shrine and a temple to commemorate the great sacrifice.

According to popular folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps that consumed fifty kilograms ofghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.

Its wall is the second largest wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China and is known as the Great Wall of India.

Kumbhalgarh – The Great Wall -of India?

World Wide Words Issue 888 – WIF Style

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Worl Wide Words

Issue 888

 

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World Wide Words

Issue 888: Saturday 26 July 2014

Feedback, Notes and Comments

Precrastination

 “This is a wonderful word that we have long needed without knowing it,” wrote Frederica Postman. “Doesn’t everybody have a device to postpone the required tasks? Before I learned this word, I was just wasting time. Now I know I was precrastinating. Thank you for your informative and amusing newsletter.”

“As an inveterate procrastinator of this particular sub-type,” Cynthia Harvey emailed from Virginia, “I have discovered, and come to love, the term ‘laterally productive’ instead. I get all sorts of things done — just not the important stuff I should be doing. It is very difficult to break this habit.”

John Mills wrote, “When I was studying music composition, the word ‘quill-sharpening’ was used in a deprecatory way to describe getting ready to compose, rather than composing. I’ve been unable to find a reference to this usage on the Web. It does seem to be common in the context of writers, satirists and critics ‘sharpening their pens’ in anticipation of penning a trenchant attack on something.”

Ron Witton recalled, “While travelling in India, I have heard fairly often the term ‘prepone’ as in ‘Your flight has been preponed’, meaning brought forward in time. It has happened sufficiently often for me to assume it is not an individual construct but a socially accepted word form.”

The verb is widely known in India and dates from the 1970s.

“Summer of 1969, aged 17,” Henry Larsen recollects, “I was taken on at a factory as a seasonal helper. I was assigned to an old steamfitter by the name of Vern. Every Monday morning the foreman gave us all of our tasks for the week. My third or fourth week on the job, having settled in a bit and built up a little confidence, I looked at the new list and saw one particularly onerous job. In my youthful enthusiasm, I opined that we should do that one first and get it out of the way. ‘No’, said Vern. ‘Always do the easy jobs first. You never know, you might die before you get to the shit work’.” Precrastination meets procrastination.

Alan Weyman says that he lives his life by the rule he calls Mañanismo, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow”. He believes, as many people do, that Mark Twain invented it. I query such attributions on principle (this one has also been ascribed to Oscar Wilde and others) but it’s half right. Garson O’Toole wrote about it on the Quote Investigator website; he discovered that Twain really is the source, in an article of 1870 criticising the way Benjamin Franklin popularised folksy aphorisms. Twain created the saying as a comical instance of something that Franklin might have said. He would surely have hated its being credited to him as a humorous proverb worth repeating.

Bounding main. Pat Spaeth commented on one of the snippets of poetry I cited in the piece last week: “If you look a little earlier in the text, you’ll see that your author knew little about the bounding main or sailing in general. The original verse starts: ‘Heave ho, me lads, the wind blows free / A pleasant gale is on our lee.’ First, I doubt a gale would ever be called ‘pleasant’. And ‘lee’ means the side away from the wind (as in the Leeward Islands or in another song, ‘bring your ship under our lee’).” Beware landlubberish poetasters!

Lucubration

Today a lucubration (or lucubrations — the word more often appears in the plural) is a derisive reference to a pedantic, over-elaborate or muddled attempt to make a point.

But Coleridge was an unselfdisciplined monologist addict who left a few brilliant poems and poetic fragments behind him, along with a blather of sometimes suggestive but mainly inane lucubration.
A C Grayling, in the Financial Times, 14 Oct. 2006.

Lucubration literally means thought, study or writing that has been undertaken by artificial light. Its origin is Latin lux, light, via the stem of the verb lūcubrāre, to work by lamplight. Imagine a scholar hunched beside a guttering flame, striving late into the night to get his ideas on paper.

The word appeared first in English around the time of Shakespeare at the end of the sixteenth century. People soon started to use it for the result of the activity as well as the activity itself.

Unfortunately, as every student struggling against a deadline to write an essay will know, such burning of the midnight oil is likely to produce work that won’t stand the light of day. Hence its current meaning.

Wordface

Changing colours. Being a keen wine drinker, though an ill-informed one, I was delighted recently to have my knowledge expanded by coming across a French word that every English-speaking viticulturist seems to knows: véraison. It refers to the point when grapes stop growing and start to ripen, in the process changing colour. It’s from the obsolete French verb vérir, to ripen, presumably influenced by raisin, grape.

Local expressions. Susan Walker poses a query: “My father, who came from Warwickshire, often said ‘If you come in late you’ll get the slick side of the door.’ I thought this was a common expression until people did not know what I was talking about. I believe it may be from old style doors having the crosshatch wood bars inside but the exterior smooth — thus if you come home late the door will be closed against you. My grandmother, also from Warwickshire, told me, when she thought I was not getting married young enough, ‘You’ll go round the orchard and come up with a crab apple.’ I wonder if these are local Warwickshire sayings or known more widely?”

Blooper

Q From Dave McCombs, New Zealand: Has the word blooper ever been traced to a source?
A Yes, it has, and it’s rather a surprising one.
We have to go back to the pioneering days of radio broadcasting in the US in the early 1920s. The primitive valve radios of those times suffered from a serious problem. To make them more sensitive, they fed back part of the amplified signal to the input. But if the user increased that feedback too far to try to pick up a weak station, the radio became a transmitter and blotted out reception for up to a mile around it.

If you’ve heard a public-address system screeching because somebody has put the microphone too near the loudspeaker, you’ll have a very good idea of the experience for suffering nearby listeners. Two technical names for it are positive feedback and oscillation; it has many others (during my time at the BBC, the jargon term for it was howl-round).

The same problem bedevilled the early days of the BBC. Its chief engineer, Peter Eckersley, used to go on air and entreat listeners not to be so anti-social as to allow their sets to transmit: “Is this fair? Is this British? Don’t oscillate. Please don’t oscillate. Don’t do it.” He did this so often that he was nicknamed “Don’t Do It Eckersley”.

Americans didn’t call it oscillation, perhaps because it sounded a touch highfalutin. They named it blooping. The perpetrator was a blooper and the noise was a bloop.

Then some evening he wants to listen to a program clear through and the occassional [sic] “bloop” of his neighbors calls for his most blood-curdling curses.
Nevada State Journal, 16 Dec. 1923.

Nobody tried to explain where it came from at the time and nobody has managed to put forward an entirely satisfactory suggestion since. My guess, having heard lots of variations on the sound that feedback makes, is that the term imitated the noise in affected receivers, which probably wasn’t a shriek or whistle but a rapidly pulsing howl that sounded vaguely like “bloooop … bloooop … bloooop”.

The problem quickly grew worse as the number of sets mushroomed during the radio craze. The first example of blooper in print I’ve found is this, though for the sets rather than the perpetrators:

On account, perhaps, of the word of warning that was published in yesterdays paper in connection with the announcement of the presidents speech against improper handling of the radio sets of the radiating type, or “blooper” sets as they are coming to be called there was less interference than has been noted heretofore.
Lubbock Morning Avalanche (Texas), 23 Apr. 1924. To cap the typos in the item, the headline to the story misspelled the word as “blopper”. An early self-referential blooper.

Everybody knew what bloopers were and everybody hated them. To accidentally bloop was an embarrassing error; to do it deliberately was a crime against your neighbours.

In the middle 1920s blooper was taken up by baseball. I am, as you know, no expert here, and so I rely on descriptions by experts to say that it’s a sloppily hit ball that lofts into the gap between the infield and outfield for a base hit, an embarrassing error on the part of the fielding team.

The Gambles tied it up in their half of the fourth when five hits and an error brought in four runs. Four of these hits were tantalizing “bloopers” which fell between the infielders and the outfielders about a yard inside of the left field foul line.
Freeport Journal Standard (Illinois), 27 Jun 1933.

The sense of a verbal or written error or indiscretion began to appear in print around 1940 (a writer to the Racine Journal Times of Wisconsin in January 1940 used bloopers for the typographical mistakes that he had found in the paper). The following year pull a blooper appeared, to make an embarrassing mistake:

We pulled a blooper, and we’re sorry. Here we were told that Dave Henry lost to Axel Johnson when the two softball greats teamed up in the Southern California playoffs three seasons ago. Actually the reverse was the case.
Oxnard Press-Courier (Oxnard, California), 12 Jun. 1941.

The specific sense of making a mistake before a microphone or camera is from movie jargon. The word started to appear in films in the early 1930s with the coming of the talkies. The short-lived blooping patch was a black strip stuck on a film’s optical soundtrack to cover the noise resulting from a splice. Compilations of errors in film, called bloops, are known from the 1930s, initially for private enjoyment:

But some of the nabobs of the films began collecting celluloid records of the “bloops” of which the screen players were guilty in reciting their lines, and so most of them now play safe with antics and verbal outbreaks that have become both unique and amusing.
Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 1935.

Blooper for such compilations became popular in the US in the 1950s through a series of records by a television producer named Kermit Schaefer under the general title Pardon My Blooper. Blooper reel was first used publicly of outtakes from Star Trek episodes in the early 1970s.

The evidence suggests that all these usages can be traced back to those anti-social individuals who let their radios oscillate in the early 1920s.

Sic!

• Len Morrison found this headline on Google News, which was taken from the Birmingham Mail on 19 July: “Grandad hit by three bus lane tickets in Birmingham city centre.” The story explained the man had received three fixed-penalty fines for driving in bus lanes.

• An email offer Vance R Koven received from Groupon was headed “Apple iPad mini 32GB with WiFi, 14K Gold Swarovski Earrings, Men’s Spiked Golf Shoes & More.” His comment: “Talk about bells and whistles!”

• Dana Cook Grossman contributed a sentence from an obituary in the Valley News of Vermont and New Hampshire with the comment, “He must have been quite a headstrong guy”: “First thing in the morning Donal enjoyed using his skull to travel the perimeter of Pleasant Lake.”

• On 18 July the Atlantic online had a photo of Argentinean youths, who rioted after the World Cup final, trying to escape tear gas and a water cannon. Amy Briggs spotted that the caption ended, “Police said more than a dozen officers were injured and many more were arrested.”

• F J Bergmann reports that the Publishing Perspectives e-newsletter of 23 July includes this: “Spanish author Javier Marias argues that while there are plenty of reasons not to write novels, there’s one that is very important — a shot at immorality.”

World Wide Words Issue 888 – WIF Style