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Sunday, 21 December 2014

These 7 Cities Are The New 'Urban Wonders' Of The World

Petronas Twin TowersShutterstock/Peter Schwarz The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur are the tallest twin towers in the world. A global campaign to name various new Seven Wonders of the World has announced the results of its Cities competition. 
The New7Wonders project was created by Bernard Weber in order to highlight some of the greatest natural and man-made wonders of the world not covered in the original list.  The Cities project is the third of Weber's installments — i n 2007, more than 100 million people voted in his New Seven Wonders of the World competition
Weber’s latest campaign to find the best cities on Earth aimed to showcase the "cities that best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization," according to the New7Wonders website
The global competition began with more than 1200 nominees from 220 countries.  That list was reduced to 77, since there was a limit of one city per country. Then the 77 remaining cities were narrowed down by a panel of experts headed by  Federico Mayor, former director-general of UNESCO, to 28 suggestions. 
Following the announcement of the 28 finalists, the winning seven cities were chosen by voters from around the world. 
The seven winning cities beat out finalists such as Istanbul, London, St. Petersburg, Seoul, Reykjavik, and Chicago. None of the world’s seven winning cities are in Europe or the US. 
Below are the seven cities that have been named the new urban wonders of the world (in alphabetical order): 
1. Beirut, Lebanon
The capital city of Lebanon has been rebuilt several times due to unrest. Beirut's architecture is a stunning mix of modern, Ottoman, and colonial French. 
The Middle Eastern hub is often referred to as "The Paris of the Mediterranean."
BeirutShutterstock/Iryna1 2. Doha, Qatar
Qatar’s capital, Doha, first gained prominence when it began tapping into its expansive natural-gas reserves. Doha’s wealth of natural gas and oil have helped make Qatar one of the richest nations in the world — and Doha one of the world's most beautiful cities.
Doha, Qatar Flickr/Marc Desbordes 3. Durban, South Africa
The beach city of Durban in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal is the busiest port in Africa, but it's best known for its incredible beaches and surfing. 
Durban, South AfricaShutterstock/michaeljung 4. Havana, Cuba
Havana is a centuries-old city covered in vibrant colors.  The historic center of Havana has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason.
Havana, CubaShutterstock/ffoto29 5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The cultural hub of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is known for its towering skyscrapers. The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are the tallest twin buildings in the world. 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Shutterstock/zhu difeng 6. La Paz, Bolivia
Perched atop the Andes Mountains, La Paz is 11,975 feet above sea level. It is the highest capital city in the world. 
La Paz, BoliviaShutterstock/Galyna Andrushko 7. Vigan, Philippines
Vigan is one of the few Hispanic towns lefts intact in the Philippines. Known for its cobblestone-covered streets and unique architecture, the city is a World Heritage Site. 
Vigan, Philippines Gett

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Top Companies With their New logos

Google's old logo is synonymous with the internet to many who use its products. Its new logo isn't much different (the 'g' and the 'l' have been moved ever so slightly to the right).

WWE's old logo is a holdover from when it had an edgier show in the early 2000s. Its new logo is cleaner and more professional.

Bacardi's old logo featured the brand's iconic bat. The new logo has a smaller bat, creating a cleaner, more distinct design.

Publishing giant Penguin Random House's old logo acknowledged each of its combined firms. The new logo fuses them into a single identity.

PayPal made some improvements to its old logo. The new logo has a bolder word mark and more vibrant colors, and the overlapping Ps are designed to emphasize human connection.

Black & Decker's old logo used an ampersand to connect the names of the brand's two founders. Its new logo uses the trendier plus sign, instead.

Lipton's old logo featured a bright lemon. The new logo isn't too different, but it reminds us a lot of the Lay's potato chips logo.

Airbnb changed its logo to a symbol it calls the "Bélo," meant to convey that Airbnb is not so much a company as it is a community of people who feel a sense of belonging when they stay with one another.

Cadillac's old logo is something of an icon in the automotive world. The new logo isn't much different, but Cadillac got rid of the laurel wreath that used to appear underneath its crest.

Olive Garden changed its logo in March and was jeered for making a logo that some people felt was too generic.

Foursquare ditched its old logo when it split itself into two apps — Foursquare and Swarm. The new logo was created to look like both a map pin and a superhero symbol.

Hotwire's old logo included an airplane design to remind you it's a travel-booking company. The new logo just has this red dot.

Reebok's old logo was never quite as famous as the Nike Swoosh or Adidas' three-stripe design. But its new logo makes the brand look more like a B2B software company.

Visa's old logo famously had a golden tip on the 'V.' The new logo gets rid of this flourish. The letters are also darker shades of blue.

Oxford Dictionaries' old logo was a fairly plain word mark. Its new logo is a bit more stylish, but it looks a lot like the logo for Beats by Dr. Dre.

Florida State University's old logo was there when the Seminoles won the national championship in football this past season. Its new logo tilts the Seminole's head toward the sky and replaces the "Florida State" lettering with a feather

Getting rid of your school name might be a college sports logo trend. Here's the University of Illinois' old logo. And here's the new logo, which identifies the school only with a block 'I.'

In the pros, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made some tweaks to their old flag logo, seen here. The result is Tampa's brighter new logo, ARRRGHuably the Bucs' best yet.

Italian soccer giant Inter Milan also made a few changes. The new logo no longer has the star on top.

Fandango's old logo was designed to look like a movie ticket. Its new logo has its letters closer together and an upside-down 'F' hidden in the orange space.

Morton Salt's old logo has been a fixture of grocery stores everywhere for years. Their new logo has several very slight changes. There's a little curve at the end of the 'R' in the lettering, and fewer blue lines in the woman's hair.

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Top 10 Sexiest Models In The World 2014

10. Karlie Kloss

Karle Kloss
In 2008, Karlie was labelled as the best model in the world by People Magazine. Aside from her stunning looks, she was renowned for her moody walk and intense stare. With her amazing good looks and body, it is unlikely for her to go out of style easily. She has also been the face of various advertisements for famous designers including Nina Ricci, Donna Karan, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, and Oscar de la Renta. However, she is most renowned for her modelling career with Victoria’s Secret, where she was the face of the brand’s PINK product line.

9. Lindsay Ellingson

Lindsay Ellingson
For five years, Lindsay has been gracing the runway at any Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, and her charm never gets old. She has also been chosen, along with Emanuela de Paula, to be the spokeswomen of Victoria’s Secret’s “Body by Victoria”. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was given to these lovely ladies, together with Marisa Miller and Alessandra Ambrosio. Moreover, this seductive fashion model was featured in the VS SWIM catalog, in 2010. At present, she is among the brand’s 12 supermodels, who are part of the lineup for fashion shows.

8. Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne
Cara’s best known projects was in 2011, when she was featured in the spring/summer campaign by Burberry. This remarkable accomplishment was followed with the 2012 campaign by the same brand, where Cara had a breathtaking photo shoot alongside Eddie Redmayne. Currently, Cara is Burberry’s feature model of its beauty campaign, including Jourdan Dunn and Edie Campbell. Other brands that Cara modelled for are Blumarine, Chanel and Zara. She is also the renowned “Star Face” of the 2012-2013 show season last autumn and winter. Lastly. she appeared on the runway for top brands such as Moschino, Chanel, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, and Oscar de la Renta.

7. Candice Swanepoel

Candice Swanepoel
This talented and mesmerizing professional model was born in South Africa. She modelled for various brands, although her most renowned appearances were in Victoria’s Secret’s fashion shows. Eventually, Swanepoel decided to open the very first retail store for Victoria’s Secret in West Edmonton Mall, in Canada. She was also chosen by the brand to model the Fantasy Bra in the VS fashion show in 2013. This famed bra worth 10 million dollars was designed by the brilliant Mouawad, and it featured more than 4200 expensive gems such as diamonds, yellow sapphires and rubies.

6. Jourdan Dunn

Jourdan Dunn
In a world where most caucasians ruled the runway, Jourdan Dunn makes a unique addition to the the world of fashion. This British model was originally discovered by a top modelling company in 2006, and she eventually signed a modelling contract with Storm Model Management afterwards. One of her greatest achievements was when she walked the runway at the Prada fashion show. What made her completely stunning was her extraordinary looks and exquisite charm as she walks on the runway.
5. Behati Prinsloo
Behati Prinsloo
This Namibian fashion model spent most of her life in South-West Africa, along with her business-oriented mother and a father who is a church minister. At 16, she was discovered by a modelling agent when she was vacationing in Cape Town, in South Africa. Then, she was spotted by Sarah Doukas, the same person who discovered the brilliant Kate Moss. Soon thereafter, Prinsloo was featured in various fashion shows for renowned designers such as Miu Miu, Zac Posen, Prada, Chanel, Lacoste, MaxMara and Louis Vuitton. She also had several ad campaigns for top brands including Chanel, Hugo Boss, Victoria’s Secret, and Kurt Geiger.

4. Lily Aldridge

Lily Aldridge
Just like Prinsloo, Aldridge started her modelling career at 16, where she was photographed for ad campaigns for world-famous brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch. When she turned 17, she was featured in Spanish Vogue’s 2003 edition. She also graced the front page of various magazines such as Elle Girl, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. However, it was her first appearance in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show that elevated her fame, which was in 2009. She also walked her second fashion show for the brand the following year, where she earned her wings.

3. Doutzen Kroes

Doutzen Kroes
Who would have thought that this famous supermodel once thought of herself as a tomboy during her youth? Kroes has all the makings of a successful model because of her remarkable great looks and sculpted body. She is one of the most photographed models int he world, and she has been on the covers of numerous fashion magazines including Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Vogue, and Time. She is also a regular in Victoria’s Secret’s fashion shows beginning 2005. Other campaigns by Kroes are for famous brands such as Versace, Calvin Klein, Gucci, and Valentino.

2. Alessandra Ambrosio

Alessandra Ambrosio
This list will never be complete without Alessandra’s name in it. With this Brazilian top model’s flawless physique and sensual appeal, it is not surprising that her name is frequently mentioned in the world’s sexiest models. In addition, she was a part of the handover show in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic’s Closing Ceremony, in 2012. Alessandra is also among the top earning supermodels, according to a survey by Forbes.

1. Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima
At the top of this list is Adriana Lima, who became quite famous for her career as a model for Victoria’s Secret. Her very first fashion show for this brand was in 1999, and her fan base continues to grow ever since. She is also among the five other Angels who promoted the brand throughout the world including Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen, Heidi Klum and Alessandra Ambrosio. Although she is already in her 30s, she continues to grace every runway that she walks on because of her amazing body, remarkable charm and exquisite looks.
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Saturday, 9 August 2014

America’s Top companies to work for

No one knows more about a workplace than its employees. Employee opinions reflect basic measures, such as pay, perks, benefits, and hours worked. But they are also influenced by factors such as a company’s culture, internal politics, and even general mood -- intangibles that can be lost in internal audits and consultancy surveys.
While companies have websites, public relations teams, and recruiters to tailor their message to prospective hires, employees have far fewer forums to communicate their views., a career community website, provides the opportunity for employees to give their own opinions, and for potential employees to research the company. To identify the 75 Best Companies to Work For, 24/7 Wall St. examined company ratings provided by current and former employees to
Employees in certain sectors are far more likely to offer a positive opinion of their employer than others. Technology companies are certainly well represented among the highest-rated employers, as are consulting firms. Of the 75 best companies, only 12 received an average rating of 4.0 or higher out of 5. Of these, four are in the technology space -- Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Riverbed Technology -- and three are consulting firms.
Being a market leader also appears to help. Many well-reviewed companies are the leaders in their respective industries, and as a result are financially successful. Apple, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and Walt Disney are all among the top-rated employers on and among the largest public companies in the world by market capitalization. Others are leaders in public relations, like Edelman and auditing giant EY, formerly Ernst & Young.
Many of the best companies to work for have cultivated an extremely strong reputation among the broader public as well. American Express, Facebook, Google, and SAP are all among the best companies to work for and among the top companies by brand value, according to brand consultancy BrandZ. Top employers also perform well according to other measures of brand awareness, such as CoreBrand and Interbrand.
Not surprisingly, companies with strong employee reviews also give CEOs good grades. It would seem leadership matters, not just for running a company and producing returns for shareholders, but also for promoting employee satisfaction. Among the 75 best companies to work for, 38 have CEOs with an approval rating of 90% or higher. In all, just 10 CEOs have an approval rating below 80%, and all have the endorsement of at least two-thirds of their employees.
Employees at these companies also frequently cite a good office culture and work-life balance. In many cases, employees also praise a company if it promotes learning or training opportunities and career development. At several of these companies, employees also note a good benefits package, which is uncommon in many industries, such as retail.
These are America’s Best Companies to Work For
1. LinkedIn
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 97% (Jeff Weiner)
> Employees: 5,045
> Revenue: $1.5 billion
According to the company: “Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. With over 300 million members worldwide...LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the Internet.”
LinkedIn is the nation’s best company to work for, based on ratings awarded by current and former employees at Of course, high pay doesn’t hurt employee morale. According to, the average software engineer reported an annual salary of $127,817, while the average senior software engineer reported an annual salary of $145,192. Like other technology companies, LinkedIn has excellent perks and good, free food, but employees at the company also rave about good work-life balance and a confident, inspired leadership. In fact, 97% of reviewers have a high opinion of CEO Jeff Weiner, higher than all but a few other CEOs. However, LinkedIn is also proof no employer is perfect -- the company recently agreed to pay $6 million to hundreds of employees for unpaid overtime, plus damages.
2. Facebook
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 96% (Mark Zuckerberg)
> Employees: 6,337
> Revenue: $7.9 billion
According to the company: “Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Facebook is a rapidly growing and highly profitable company. It is also increasingly successful at reaching users on their mobile phones. The company’s success has not only captivated investors -- Facebook’s market capitalization is currently $189 billion -- but also potential employees. In fact, technology giant Google was so worried about employees leaving for Facebook that it began to provide a counter offer to employees recruited by Facebook within one hour, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. Strong benefits and perks are just one of the repeatedly mentioned advantages of working at Facebook, according to A relatively flat hierarchy and a fast-paced workday are other characteristics of the company that employees enjoy.
3. Eastman Chemical
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 91% (Mark J. Costa)
> Employees: 14,000
> Revenue: $9.4 billion
According to the company: “Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day.”
Specialty chemicals maker Eastman receives rave reviews from employees. Workers at Eastman frequently cite work-life balance, helpful colleagues and strong teamwork, as well as a good corporate culture in their reviews. Workers also praise the company’s dedication to workplace safety. According to the company, safety forms one of Eastman’s core values. The company publicly tracks and discloses its own safety track record, as well as its internal goals for workplace safety. The small town nature of Kingsport, Tennessee, where Eastman is headquartered, is among the few complaints occasionally mentioned in reviews.
4. Insight Global
> Glassdoor rating: 4.4
> CEO rating: 94% (Glenn Johnson)
> Employees: N/A
> Revenue: $918 million
According to the company: “Through a nationwide network of 37 regional offices, Insight Global provides clients exceptional IT technicians and consultants to meet the demanding technology challenges of today.”
Insight Global is an IT staffing firm, filling over 20,000 positions a year, according to the company. Workers who were assigned jobs through the company rave about its staffing practices, noting that Insight Global’s recruiters are polite and exceptionally helpful. Many reviewers on also note that they were placed very quickly. In one such review a worker notes, “I literally got a job in under 24 hours!” Insight Global says it is on track to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2014.
5. Bain & Company
> Glassdoor rating: 4.4
> CEO rating: 99% (Bob Bechek)
> Employees: 5,500
> Revenue: $2.1 billion
According to the company: “Bain & Company is one of the world's leading management consulting firms. We work with top executives to help them make better decisions, convert those decisions to actions, and deliver the sustainable success they desire.”
Bain & Company is the highest-rated consulting firm on this list, surpassing rivals McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group. Bain notes on its website that, historically, client companies have dramatically outperformed the S&P 500. Also indicative of the company’s success, current worldwide managing director Bob Bechek received a nearly unanimous approval rating of 99%. Employees praise the company on multiple fronts, citing its emphasis on professional development and the quality of the workplace culture at Bain. When employees do complain, it is about long hours and demanding travel schedules.
6. Riverbed Technology
> Glassdoor rating: 4.3
> CEO rating: 94% (Jerry M. Kennelly)
> Employees: 2,556
> Revenue: $1.0 billion
According to the company: “We enable organizations to embrace location-independent computing to better leverage global resources, radically reduce the cost of running their business, and maximize employee productivity.”
In many reviews on, current and former employees at Riverbed say they enjoy the work-life balance the company promotes, while also noting that Riverbed’s products are were top notch. Most employees also approve of CEO Jerry Kennelly, who has a 94% approval rating among employees. However, weak earnings results of late have provided ammunition for activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has pushed Riverbed to pursue a sale, and has itself offered to take the company private. The company has not accepted any of Elliott’s offers so far.
7. Google
> Glassdoor rating: 4.2
> CEO rating: 96% (Larry Page)
> Employees: 47,756
> Revenue: $59.8 billion
According to the company: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google is famous for its employee perks. The company’s Mountain View, California campus contains fleets of bikes and scooters, seven fitness centers and 25 cafeterias, according to the company. Google also operates similarly well-equipped facilities in a number of other cities, including New York, Dublin, and London. Perks, too, are wide-ranging at Google. The company not only offers health and retirement benefits, but also travel insurance, legal aid, and education reimbursement, to name a few. However, employees note some concerns, including how hard it is to get promoted and how large the company feels at times. Google is also one of a number of technology companies criticized for the lack of diversity in its hiring.
8. Southwest Airlines
> Glassdoor rating: 4.2
> CEO rating: 91% (Gary C. Kelly)
> Employees: 44,831
> Revenue: $17.7 billion
According to the company: “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.”
Southwest Airlines employees routinely praise the company for its strong company culture and great benefits. Not only does the company offer free flights to employees and their families, but it also matches 401(k) contributions for a large chunk of employees' salaries and maintains a profit-sharing plan that rewards workers for the company’s success. Southwest is often regarded as an innovator among discount airlines, having successfully introduced new strategies to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency.
9. McKinsey & Company
> Glassdoor rating: 4.1
> CEO rating: 96% (Dominic Barton)
> Employees: 17,000
> Revenue: $7.8 billion
According to the company: “We work with leading organizations across the private, public and social sectors. Our scale, scope, and knowledge allow us to address problems that no one else can.”
Consulting firm McKinsey touts its team as being exceptionally skilled, noting that “we are diverse, but we all have one thing in common: we are exceptional problem solvers.” However, the partnership’s reputation was shaken when its former head, Rajat Gupta, was convicted of insider trading. Still, the firm remains a powerful force in global business. According to its website, McKinsey today serves the majority of the world’s largest companies. Employees, too, often rave about life at McKinsey. Although travel and work hours are frequent complaints, employees praise the wide ranging benefits the company offers, as well as the interesting work and their talented coworkers.
10. Boston Consulting Group
> Glassdoor rating: 4.1
> CEO rating: 95% (Rich Lesser)
> Employees: 9,700
> Revenue: $4.0 billion
According to the company: “With 50 years of experience in making change happen, we have developed unique, practical, and proven approaches to mobilizing and enabling organizations.”
Boston Consulting Group is one of the nation’s leading management consulting firms, with offices in 45 countries across the globe. BCG says of its consultants, “We value and utilize the unique talents that each individual offers.” Consultants at the firm feel well-treated and appear to value each others’ talents exceptionally highly. A large share of reviewers' comments on highlight their coworkers as among the company’s greatest strengths
In order to determine America’s best companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. independently reviewed employee ratings and testimonials on Among the more than 400 companies reviewed, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 75 businesses that received the highest overall scores.
To be considered, a company had to have at least 300 reviews. Employers were also excluded if they were a government agency or bureau, a non-profit, or a subsidiary of a larger company. An exception was made for CareerBuilder, which is majority-owned by publishing and broadcast firm Gannett, since it is a joint venture between several companies.
Employee totals and revenue figures represent the most recent fiscal year data available. Sources include: company documents, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, S&P Capital IQ, and Forbes’ America's Largest Private Companies 2013. For companies that do not provide data, Forbes estimates revenue.
In the case of S&P Capital IQ, employee totals are calculated as the equivalent of full-time employees, treating a part-time worker as “half” of a full-time employee. Employee counts for companies with franchises only count workers employed by the company.
Dollar conversions from S&P Capital IQ were used for companies that publish financial statements in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In the case of companies where data is not from S&P Capital IQ, we converted revenue into dollars based on the effective exchange rate at the end of the company’s fiscal year.
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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

a thousand more reasons to visit Bangkok

Bangkok. Phuket. Pattaya. The beaches of Krabi and Samui. The highland haven of Chiang Mai. Most visitors to Thailand would tick these destinations off their itineraries. Yet, there’s so much more to discover about the Land of a Thousand Smiles. From historic trails and monuments to intriguing temples and monasteries, blissed-out beaches, exciting nightlife, vineyards and nature reserves, malls and entertainment options, and a cornucopia of delectable Thai cuisine.
In short, a thousand more reasons to smile.
The province of Kanchanaburi, with its refreshing verdant countryside and abundant rice fields, fruit orchards, cassava and rubber plantations, is a favourite weekend haunt of Bangkok’s city folk. About two and a half hours west of the capital, this ‘Land of Gold’ (its name has roots in Sanskrit) is blessed with a magnificent landscape that ranges from low rolling plains and marshland to riverside retreats and hills cloaked in forest and bamboo.
Kanchanaburi is connected to the capital by impeccable highways stippled with fuel stations and rest stops with restaurants, coffee shops and snack stalls. Double-decker tour buses with onboard WiFi and in-seat massagers can be seen ferrying happily dozing tourists through this remarkable countryside.
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The silence is solemn in Kanchanaburi War CemeteryThe silence is solemn in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Kanchanaburi’s past is rooted in pain. During World War II, Thailand was shanghaied into supporting the Japanese Imperial Army in its assault on Allied forces in Southeast Asia. Japan made several landings in Thailand and coerced a reluctant Thai government into allowing it to build a railway to Burma (modern-day Myanmar) through the hills and rivers of Siam (modern-day Thailand). Relics and memorials of this dark period dot the province.
In the heart of the town lies Don Rak, the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. A granite plaque informs the visitor that here are preserved the remains of 6,982 Allied prisoners of war who perished during the construction of the infamous Death Railway. Between 1942 and 1945, the Japanese Imperial Army forced POWs constructed a railway that aimed to link Burma with Thailand. Overwork, cruelty and unhygienic living conditions claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Allied prisoners of war and civilians. In the cemetery there are zones demarcated for British, Dutch and Australian soldiers. The largest of three cemeteries along the Burma-Siam Railway, it is a serene, sobering place. Designed by Colin St Clair Oakes, it is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which looks into the upkeep of war graves in about 150 countries that were affected by the two World Wars.
The historic railway bridge over the Khwae-Noi River.The historic railway bridge over the Khwae-Noi River.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
If you have seen the famous David Lean film (based on the French novel The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle) starring William Holden and Sir Alec Guinness, the whistling tune of the march ‘Colonel Bogey’ will unspool instantly in your mind as you reach the historic Bridge on the River Kwai. Though Kwai is a name that finds popular currency, Thais know the river as Khwae (rhymes with air). There are, in fact, two rivers of that name that curl through Kanchanaburi – Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai. The bridge stands on Khwae Noi, the shorter tributary. At Kanchanaburi, the two rivers merge into the Mae Klong River.
There were two railway bridges – one a wooden trestle bridge and the other made of concrete and steel. Allied POWs – mostly English, Dutch, Americans and Australian soldiers – toiled night and day enduring disease, starvation and barbaric treatment at the hands of their Japanese captors. The Allies bombed and destroyed the bridge to cripple Japanese supply lines, but after the war the historic bridge was reconstructed and finds use as a railway bridge and a memorial.
The 2013 Hollywood film The Railway Man starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman casts Firth as Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is tortured as a POW in a Japanese labour camp. Both movies were set in Kanchanaburi although most of the David Lean film was shot on location in Sri Lanka.
On a cool breezy evening, you can walk on the bridge over the dark waters of the Khwae-Noi, along which long-tailed boats and barges ply. From the railway station here, it is possible to travel until the end of the line to soak in the overwhelming history of the route and the enduring beauty of the scenery.
The Hellfire Pass memorial and museum in KanchanaburiThe Hellfire Pass memorial and museum in Kanchanaburi
Hellfire Pass
Further along the railway line is the Hellfire Pass Memorial, another historic site steeped in the memories of war. Its intriguing name was given by Allied POWs conscripted by the Japanese military to build the infamous Siam-Burma Railway, in haunting memory of the flickering light of naked torches as they cut away at the intractable rock with picks, shovels and bare hands.
In 1941, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the invasion of Malaya, Japanese troops were skirmishing bitterly with the British in Burma. Japan wanted to avoid the risky sea route through the Malacca Strait and the Andaman Sea, which were patrolled by Allied warships, and find an alternative route to enter India via Burma. Coercing the military government of Siam to support them, the Japanese embarked on an ambitious project to build a 415-kilometer railway from Ban Pong in Thailand to Thanbyuzayat in Burma using POWs as laborers. Work on the line began simultaneously in southern Burma and Thailand and the lines were joined in 1943.
Of the 60,000 Allied troops who labored on the railway, 12,399 died. Adding to the casualties were nearly 90,000 civilian laborers of Asian descent including Indian, Burmese and Thai.
A museum established and supported by the Australian government preserves these memories along with artifacts and exhibits. From the museum a moderately demanding walking trail leads to old railway relics at Konyu Cutting – also known as Hellfire Pass, the deepest and most dramatic of the several cuttings along the Siam-Burma railway – and a memorial to the victims of war.
The stunning waterfall is the cynosure of Erawan National Park.The stunning waterfall is the cynosure of Erawan National Park.
Erawan National Park
About 40 minutes from Kanchanaburi town, the highway curves through picturesque woodland. An upriver drive along the road ascending to the Tenasserim Mountains offers panoramic views of the Khao Laem reservoir and reveals the aspect of the mountain, like a hulking elephant crowned with rainclouds.
Hindu mythology resonates in harmony with Buddhist traditions in Thailand and Erawan is the Thai name for Airavata, the celestial mount of Indra, lord of heaven. Depicted variously as a three-headed or 33-headed elephant with six tusks, Erawan is also believed to be the custodian of the clouds.
Birdsong melds with the babble of running water inside the 550-square-kilometer national park where the most favored trail is one that leads up to the seven-tiered Erawan Waterfall. It is a paradisiacal setting: Lianas twist around ancient forest trees with gigantic buttress roots. Strangler figs wrap around great gnarled Ficuses. A turquoise stream, rising from the waterfall, drops in gentle cataracts formed by matted tree roots. All around are mysterious pathways leading to limestone caves with stalagmites, stalactites and other calcite formations. There are bamboo walkways and ramps to admire the river up close, and pools where you can splash in the spray of the waterfall, watched over by eagle-eyed lifeguards.
Confront your fears at the Tiger Temple in Thailand.Confront your fears at the Tiger Temple in Thailand.
Tiger Temple
Wat Pa Luangta Bua Mahasampanno is a unique monastery in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province where  Theravada Buddhist monks have hand-reared orphaned tigers in captivity since 1999, making them tame and rather benign. A 600-baht entrance fee allows visitors access to watch monks interact with both full-grown tigers and cubs. For additional fees, visitors can walk with tigers, have photographs taken, and join volunteers in washing and feeding cubs. Other animals, such as water buffalo, wild boar and deer, also inhabit the grounds. There are also aviaries of rare birds such as hornbills.
No trip is complete without a visit to the local markets. Enjoy the wealth of fresh fruit native to the region but totally exotic to the tourist. Tuck into everything from mangos and oranges to rambutan, longan, dragon fruit, mangosteen and the redoubtable if fetid durian.
There’s more to explore in Kanchanaburi if you can make the time. But if you’re bound by a tight itinerary, head south and hit the beach at Hua Hin.
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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Types of kisses

types of kissesKissing is one of the most passionate ways to express your love for someone. It is not just an act of intimacy but at times, kissing can even make or break a relationship, especially if it is in the nascent stage. Even people in long-term relationships crave for kisses to keep the fire burning. Still don’t believe us? Well, according to a study conducted by the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, kissing helps us judge potential partners and plays a vital role in a partner staying around. Since it is of prime importance, it makes sense to have some variety in the way we kiss. Here are a few types of kisses:
Butterfly kiss
Technically, a butterfly kiss doesn’t really involve kissing but is a rather sweet gesture to show how much you love someone. In this type, you come close to your partner in a manner that your eyelashes touch each other’s and then bat them gently against one another’s.
French kiss
Perhaps the most hyped style of kissing, the French kiss is an open-mouthed kiss which involves the use of tongue. Both the partners first lock their lips and then slowly open their mouth to access each other’s tongues. This type of kissing is quite intense and if you want to take things slow, you may want to refrain from this one in the first go.
Spiderman kiss
This one’s easy to guess if you’ve seen the Spiderman movies. Remember how Peter Parker and MJ kiss in an alley? He hangs upside-down and she takes off his mask and kisses him. Also called the reverse kiss, you need to be lying in the opposite direction as your lover, so that only your faces or rather lips touch each other. You can cup each other’s face while kissing.
You don’t always need passionate lovemaking; at times, even a peck on the cheek or lips can do the trick. Simply kiss anywhere on the body, by gently grazing your lips against them. you can even give someone multiple pecks to build the mood and then move to more intense and longer kisses.
The hickey
Also called a love-bite, a hickey involves kissing someone by sucking on an area which leaves it red for some time. One of the oft-preferred areas is the side of the neck but this can be quite visible which could cause embarrassment so make sure both of you are fine with it before giving each other a hickey which can be easily seen by others.
Eskimo kiss
Don’t want to really kiss yet to express your love? Try the Eskimo kiss in which both partners rub their noses against one another’s. This makes for a simple gesture to show affection towards the other person.
Cheek-to-cheek kiss
This kiss is mostly used on social occasions to greet someone in a friendly manner. In this type of kiss, you gently brush your cheek against the other person’s cheek first on one side and then the other whilst making a pout with your lips.
Earlobe kiss
In this type, all you have to do is gently tug your partner’s earlobe with your lips. This can be quite sensual and you can set the mood right with this kiss. Do it a couple of times and then move on to some of the other types of kisses mentioned above. 
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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

7 Bikinis Sports Bar Only For Adults

1) Hooters

The biggest and the oldest of the breastaurant chains, Hooters is franchisor and operator of more than 412 restaurants in 44 states and 27 countries. "Everyone is liberated from the ordinary while enjoying great food, fun and uniquely-Hooters service," says the company. It's also aware of its growing competition over the past few years. To revitalize itself, it recently introduced a new decor plus a variety of fresh menu items, such as chopped cobb salad and New England-style clam chowder.

2) Tilted Kilt

Based in Tempe, AZ, Tilted Kilt first opened in 2003 as a contemporary Celtic-themed sports pub. Its tagline: "A Cold Beer Never Looked So Good." With 90 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, the chain serves fish & chips and shepherd’s pie as well as burgers; it has 44 beers on tap. Servers wear mini-kilts made of an original tartan plaid and the Tilted Kilt is now recruiting male bartenders. In 2011 the chain had annual sales of $124 million, reflecting growth of 33 percent, according to Technomic.

3) Twin Peaks

With servers who show a "hint of sass" and a "girl-next-door image," Twin Peaks sprang up in 2005 in Texas and now has 23 locations. The award-winning chain in 2011 was named Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association and stresses its "hearty made-from-scratch comfort food." It plans to open 25 franchised and corporate locations in 2014.

4) Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke

With 6 locations in Texas, this chain boldly claims that its food, including its juke joint-sliced brisket and its "smokin' pulled pork," is "the other reason you're here." Bone Daddy's restaurants made an average of $5 million each in sales in 2011 and are company-owned, with no plans to franchise. Originally calling itself "the Hooters of barbecue," it was recently named one of the 100 best barbecue restaurants in the U.S.  

5) Cowgirls Espresso

Who said breastaurants serve only red meat? Launched in 2002, Cowgirls Espresso, with 15 locations in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area, serves lattes, mochas, and its "famous 32-ounce Buckin' Bronco" (4 espresso shots in 32 ounces of a cold beverage), which is "guaranteed to put the starch back in the ol' blue jeans." The restaurant dishes out pastries and treats, too, and, in summertime, iced Italian soda.

6) Mugs 'n Jugs Sports Bar & Grill

Located in Clearwater, Florida, Mugs 'N Jugs says its claim to fame is its "huge award-winning wings" and its other great sports bar fare. It offers karaoke most nights, while sports occupy its flatscreen TVs; a game room offers another entertainment outlet. Here's a surprise: Tuesday night is family night; kids under 12 eat free with the purchase of a $6.99 adult entree. 

7) Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill

The Lone Star State is home to Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, begun in 2006 and owned by Austin-based ATX Brands. “I’m very optimistic about the segment,” CEO Doug Guller told Nation's Restaurant News last year. “There’s a lot of competition as the breastaurant industry has seen success over the last 5 to 10 years. It’s a somewhat recession-resilient industry. I don’t think food, booze, sports or sex are going to die anytime soon.” The chain trademarked the "breastaurant" term and a couple of years ago bought a ghost town not far from Austin, boldly renaming it "Bikinis, Texas."

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